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MY GERMAN YEAR 



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> > 1 







BI.Ai K FOKKSTKR'S IH>MK IN WINTKU. 



MY GERMAN YEAR 



BY 

I. A. R. WYLIE 

AUTHOR OF "THE RAJAH'S PEOPLE' 



WITH TWENTY ILLUSTRATIONS 






MILLS & BOON, LIMITED 

49 RUPERT STREET 

LONDON, W. 






Published igio 






CONTENTS 



I. The Reason of it — Introductory 
II. South German Towns in GE^ 

RUHE IN PARTICULAR 

III. The Two Types 

IV. The Magic Circles . 
V. Karlsruhe Sociabilities 

VI. Christmas 

VII. The Students and the Emperor's 
VIII. The Duel 

IX. The Coat of many Colours 

X. The German Woman . 

XI. Sporting Matters 
XII. Manners maketh Man 

XIII. Marriage— Before and After 

XIV. Another Fable— Cheap Germany 
XV. The Theatre and Musical Life 

XVI. Education 

XVII. The Poor in Town and Country 
XVIII. National Spirit 
XIX. Which contains an Appeal and an Apology 



^» 


PAGE 
I 


l and Karls 


8 


• 


. 23 


• 


. 36 


• 


• 51 


• 


. 67 


s Birthday 


. 84 


• 


. no 


• 


. 124 


. 


146 


. 


. 162 


. 


178 


. 


189 


. 


208 


• 


217 


. 


^31 


. 


249 


• . • 


268 


lN Apology . 


279 



229919 



LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 



The Black-Forester's Home in Winter . . Frontispiece 

FACING PAGE 
. 89 



95 
104 

137 



162 



A Student's Corps House 

A Student's Mensur . 

Students in Full Uniform . 

At the Manoeuvres 

At the Manceuvres— Waiting for Zeppelin III . 141 

Ten Years Later— Reserve Men after a long Day's 
March . . . . . . .145 

The Black Forest in Winter 1 

Ski Party in the Black Forest J 

Ski-Touring . . . . . . .166 

Ladies' Ski Race— The Winner . . .168 

A Military Hunt . . . . . .171 

Campagne-Reiten . . . . . .174 

At the Campagne-Reiten . . . . .177 

A Corner of Berghausen ..... 260 

Field- Workers . . 1 

\ 262 

Women Field-Workers J 

A Typical Village Scene . . . . .265 

The Crown Prince and Prince Maximilian of Baden 

—Kaiser Manoeuvres . . . . .268 

The Emperor and the Grand Duke of Baden- 
Kaiser Manoeuvres . . . . .271 



MY GERMAN YEAR 

CHAPTER I 

THE REASON OF IT — INTRODUCTORY 

IN these nervous days, when peaceful British 
householders retire to bed with the black 
possibiHty before them of waking up to find them- 
selves overwhelmed by German airships, German 
Dreadnoughts, German soldiers, and — worst of all — 
German pohcemen, in other words, to find that their 
dear Motherland has been transformed into a German 
colony, there is " of making many books no end "" on 
the subject of our future conquerors and oppressors. 
The authors are sometimes intensely serious — as be- 
comes the situation. They belabour us with statistics 
and calculations — differing according to their own 
poHtical opinions — which show with horrible clear- 
ness how our cousins are growing mentally and 
physically. They lead us into a maze of German 
law and German politics ; they give us vague scraps 
on German art and literature, and leave us with the 
bewildered impression that we have been shown the 
internal workings of a huge, ugly piece of machinery 
which excites alarm, a certain amount of admira- 
tion, — certainly no love. And then comes the second 



^ 



2 MY GERMAN YEAR 

class of what might be called " German Literature." 
It is the book written by the peaceful British house- 
holder himself in leisure hours after his fortnight's 
trip abroad. He has been to Berhn, and stayed 
perhaps at a not very expensive boarding-house, and 
has therefore every right to speak on German society, 
German manners, and German customs, and to con- 
demn everything ofE-hand. He has strayed into some 
Grerman theatre, so he can talk fluently on the German 
drama of to-day ; he has had a furious discussion 
with a postal official who obstinately refuses to 
understand his own language, so he can with all 
justice complain of German officialdom ; in the 
restaurant he has discovered that his reiterated 
*' Kellner ! " is treated with less respect than the 
raised finger of a smart young Prussian officer, so 
German miUtarism forms a big heading, with signi- 
ficant side-shots at conscription in general. He ends 
up with a broad survey of his impressions, which are, 
as a matter of fact, no impressions at all, but the 
crystallisation of his own prejudices. On the whole, 
this second book is a sort of extension on the text, 
" God, I thank Thee I am not as other men," and it 
leaves us smugly self-satisfied and aggressively 
contemptuous ; it is pleasant to find that our pre- 
conceived ideas of the mannerless heathen which it 
describes were after all fully justified. 

Then comes the third type. It is frankly humorous, 
and has cast ofiE all didactic pretensions. We laugh 
from beginning to end at the funny fat German 
baron, the funny fat German poUceman, the funny 
iat German officer. The author has somehow or 
other picked up some stray pecuUarities, and turns 



THE REASON OF IT 3 

them to admirable comic effect ; and though we are 
still contemptuous, our contempt has become mingled 
with a humorous pity. 

Of these three kinds we vastly prefer the last two. 
The first is altogether too serious. It excites our 
anxiety, and presents us with facts which we would 
much rather not know, and, naturally enough, 
awakens no sort of kindly feehng in our hearts for 
the people it has set out to describe. We are not 
fond of machines which, to all appearances, are created 
solely for the purpose of reducing us and our national 
pride to pulp. The other two books do not alarm 
us ; the one is mildly instructive — we feel that we 
can afterwards found our instinctive dishke for the 
Germans on definite authority — the other amuses us. 
We read both with chastened appetite. 

And so we go on, hating, despising, tolerating, or 
ignoring the race to which we are so closely connected, 
not according to our knowledge, which is often nil, 
but according to our characters and our inherited 
prejudices. The many books have not helped us; 
our short travels have done less than nothing to 
clear our outlook, overhung as it usually is with 
insular self-satisfaction. We have stayed at hotels 
and judged the Germans by so-called "types,"" which, 
if they were EngHshmen in England, we should 
ignore as exceptions. Of the inner hfe of the real 
" types " the average Englishman knows and sees 
next to nothing, and he goes home to his own country 
with the sincere conviction that there is no man 
Hke an Enghshman, and no country hke England. 

" Germany without the Germans would be all 
right '" is the text to a caricature in some German 



4 MY GERMAN YEAR 

comic paper of a check-suited, flat-footed, much- 
bewhiskered Englander on the tour of inspection, 
and such is, as a matter-of-fact, the conscious or 
unconscious opinion of most of us. And yet — 
although I would never dare suggest that there is 
any man like an Enghshman — I would venture to 
point out the possibiHty that a man may be unlike 
and still perfectly agreeable, even — be it said in 
whispers — with his certain advantages. Whereby 
I have betrayed my standpoint, and let the incorrig- 
ible anti-German beware ! It is a standpoint, I 
must hasten to add, taken not out of prejudice nor 
as the result of unusual circumstances. Ordinary 
experience alone has led me to regard the people 
amongst whom I Kve with respect and affection, 
but ordinary experience is, paradoxically, the most 
difficult experience to obtain. This appHes not 
only to Germany but to every country. Nowadays 
it is within the means of nearly every one, even to the 
poorest clerk, to travel at least once in a Kf etime and 
see somethingof foreign lands, but just such a traveller 
can of necessity only see things from an unusual 
standpoint — that of an outsider and a guest. Whether 
he is rich or poor makes no difference. Whether he 
stays at a cheap boarding-house or at a first-class 
hotel makes no difference either. The fact remains 
— he is a guest. Even if he has introductions, and 
is allowed to penetrate into the circle of certain 
families, he cannot rid himself of that one great 
disadvantage, and let no Enghshman, be he ever so 
observant, imagine because he has dined twice at 
Hen B.'s table, that he really knows what sort of a 
man Herr B. is, or what sort of Ufe he leads. Her 



THE REASON OF IT 5 

B., like every other human being, does not carry his 
heart on his sleeve, and he does not turn out his 
household gods for the inspection of a stranger. He 
may be worse, and he may be a great deal better 
than he seems — of that his guest cannot judge with 
any certainty. 

Perhaps this sounds very obvious, but it is sur- 
prising how many people there are who would 
rightly hesitate to give their opinion on an acquaint- 
ance of a fortnight ^s standing, and who are yet ready 
not only to criticise but to condemn a whole nation 
on evidence stretching over an equally short period 
of time, and based probably on still more superficial 
observation. This mistake, or whatever you please 
to call it, is not by any means confined to Enghsh 
people. I suppose it was first brought home to me 
by an absurd book on England, written by a German 
after a six weeks' sojourn in my country, during which 
time he had strayed from one horrible experience to 
another, under the impression that they were the 
natural and inevitable experiences of every one. Of 
course one is indignant over the consequent criticisms, 
because they are based on — for us — obviously false 
data. But we must remember that in six weeks an 
honest, painstaking student of national habits and 
customs can gather together enough perfectly genuine 
material on which — unless he is blessed with an extra- 
ordinary degree of tolerance — he will consider himself 
justified in founding a most condemnatory criticism. 
I have experienced this, alas! in my own person. 
A year or two ago I was travelhng in England with 
a German friend. I had been foolish enough to 
boast to her about the politeness of our poHcemen, 



6 MY GERMAN YEAR 

the obligingness of the people in general, the excellent 
" moral '' of our soldiers and sailors. In one month 
we encountered nothing but off-hand, sulky police- 
men, insolent cab-drivers, disobhging shop-people, and 
on one fatal occasion a whole trainful of reeling soldiers 
on their way to India. Of course, these were excep- 
tions — I knew it; but could I expect my German 
friend to beHeve it ? That gave me a lesson which 
I shall not forget, and it has since been more deeply 
engraved on my memory by the specimens of Enghsh 
people I have met abroad. They have all too often 
brought small credit to their nation, and I have often 
wished, when Hstening to the criticism of fellow- 
countrymen over the land in which I Kve, that they 
could suffer some of the humihations I have had to 
suffer ! I beHeve then that they would be more 
careful of dehvering judgment even on the most — 
apparently — convincing evidence. I beHeve they 
would then reaHse that people can only be judged 
from the inside, and that it is only possible to judge 
from the inside after years of intimate acquaintance 
with their ordinary Hfe. That is what I call learning 
by experience. It is not learning by experience to 
travel through a country with a notebook and pencil 
in hand, picking up statistics and characteristics and 
building up generaHties on what might easily prove 
to be exceptions. Statistics have no meaning what- 
ever until one has learnt to understand the temper 
of the people they concern, and, as I must repeat, 
understanding can only come with years. This 
leads me to the reason of it — the reason why I have 
ventured to add a modest volume to the pile that 
have been written on the same subject. It is not 



THE REASON OF IT 7 

in everybody's power — much less to everybody's 
taste — to make their home abroad in order to learn 
to appreciate the foreigner. It has been my lot to 
do so, and I feel that a less pretentious effort, made 
neither by a diplomatist nor a journalist nor a 
business man, but by an ordinary private person, 
hving the ordinary German hf e in an ordinary German 
town, might do more than a dozen heavy statistic- 
laden reports to reveal the fact that one can be 
Enghsh and yet sincerely, warmly attached to one's 
German cousins, both as individuals and as a nation. 
I do not pretend that my experience is everybody's 
experience, or that my German year is the year of 
every distant corner of the Empire. I merely claim 
that it is typical, that the Germans I have met are 
typical, and that my impressions are sincere and 
unbiased. 



CHAPTER II 

SOUTH GERMAN TOWNS IN GENERAL AND 
KARLSRUHE IN PARTICULAR 

IF I venture to describe Karlsruhe, I do so with 
two, I hope, sufficiently good excuses — firstly, 
that I cannot give an account of my German year 
without the correct mis en scene; secondly, that 
Kalrsruhe is in itself a good type of most German 
towns. I dare say a great many Germans will 
protest against this statement. Karlsruhe typical ! 
Karlsruhe representative ! I can almost hear the 
indignation of the Miinchener, the Frankfurter, the 
Mannheimer, and all the rest of those who look upon 
Karlsruhe and such small " residenz '" as the dullest 
spots on earth. And yet there is, I trust, method in 
my madness. To take a great commercial centre 
as " typically German "" seems to me a self-admitted 
error, because the typical German is not commercial. 
He is not fundamentally a money-maker, and is only 
acquiring that talent by force of circumstance and 
through imitation of others. Moreover, where there 
is commerce in Germany there are always two Jews 
to one Christian, and the Jew is not a German, much 
as he would Uke to be, and it is not in his power or 
in the scope of his character to hve the typical 
German life. Therefore we can safely put Frankfurt 



SOUTH GERMAN TOWNS 9 

— of which it is said that every third person may be 
a Christian, but more probably is not — on one side, 
together with all similar towns, and look elsewhere. 
As to Miinchen, it is the city of the musician and the 
artist, and consequently stamped with very marked 
and individual quahties, not in the least typical of the 
average German. And then the Miinchener, hke the 
BerHner, like the Londoner, is above all things a 
Gross-Stadter, a man of the world who has rubbed 
off the original characteristics of his race, and his 
home and his surroundings as a natural result have, 
in retaining a certain local colour, lost their national 
distinctiveness. It is in the lesser towns, in the 
miniature capitals, that one finds the German in his 
native state, working and hving undisturbed and un- 
influenced by the foreign stream which flows past to 
the great cities. Just such a capital is Darmstadt, 
Stuttgart, Niirnberg — lastly, Karlsruhe. With its 
own palace, its parhament, its mint, its polytech- 
nicum, its State theatre, its own special laws and 
ordinances, it is a German town "pur sang, and the 
Germans who inhabit it, from the aristocrat of the 
Court circle down to the httle tradesman, are genuine 
types. I feel, therefore, that in giving a brief de- 
scription of Karlsruhe, I am giving a fair idea of 
dozens of middle-sized South German towns. I 
emphasise South German, because South Germans are 
in many respects a distinct race from their northern 
compatriots, and the difierence in character naturally 
leaves its trace upon their surroundings. I shall 
come back to this point later when I speak of the 
people themselves. For the present it is sufficient 
to remark that there is a difference, and that I am 



10 MY GERMAN YEAR 

concerning myself chiefly with the race with which 
I am personally best acquainted. 

It is a Httle difficult to draw an arbitrary line 
between North and South, and there is a large part 
which belongs distinctly neither to the one nor the 
other, and must therefore be roughly described as 
Central Germany. Bavaria, Wiirtemberg, and Baden 
form the decidedly southern element. Of the three 
states Bavaria is the most important — if only because 
of its famous capital — but Baden reckons itself, and, 
to do it justice, is reckoned, " the model state," and 
in its comparatively small dimensions embraces the 
most beautiful and richest tracts of Germany. 
Adorned by the glories of the Black Forest, watered 
by mighty rivers, blessed with a fertile soil, an 
inteUigent people, a Hberal-minded Grand Duke, a 
hberal-minded government, it is indeed an enviable 
little country, and deserves the many flattering epi- 
taphs which it bestows upon itself and also receives. 
Its capital is Karlsruhe — a fact which, as Macaulay 
would have said, every schoolboy knows. But I 
have taken into consideration that not everybody is 
a schoolboy, and that it is just conceivable that the 
name *' Karlsruhe " may awaken, at least in some 
minds, Kttle but a vague notion that Karlsruhe is, 
well, somewhere in Germany. Such is my German 
home, therefore — a town of something over 100,000 
inhabitants. If you asked any one of them what 
they thought of the place, they would tell you without 
hesitation that it is the dullest place on earth, that 
there is nothing doing, that the people are stifi and 
" langweilig," that the theatre is not what it was, 
that the shops are twenty-years behind-hand in 



SOUTH GERMAN TOWNS 11 

everything, that the Kving generally is bad and ex- 
pensive — en fin, that anybody who Hves there wilHngly 
is an acknowledged fool. After which description 
you would naturally expect to find the trains filled 
to overflowing with emigrating crowds. This, how- 
ever, is not the case. Without any apparent reason 
Karlsruhe grows from day to day, and the people who 
once settle never seem to move on. I know indeed of 
one lady who argued herself into such a state of indig- 
nation that there was nothing left for her to do but to 
go. She tried Miinchen, and then she came back. 
This is the only case that I know of. My German 
Friend — she may occur often in my narrative, so 
under this title let her be henceforth known — declares 
that when she first settled in Karlsruhe twenty-five 
years ago she felt that she was taking the first step 
into her grave. I fancy her opinion remains un- 
changed, but somehow, though we are constantly 
considering other places with an eye to " moving 
on,"" we never really get any further, and I doubt 
if we ever shall. 

As a matter of fact, when the inhabitants have 
cleared the atmosphere with a good inevitable German 
grumble, they will generally admit that Karlsruhe 
has its advantages — especially for a certain class of 
people. I doubt if the commercial folk enjoy them 
to the full extent, for, as is natural in a Grand-Ducal 
" residenz,"" the privileged classes — the mihtary and 
official circles — have by far the best of it, but for 
these latter Karlsruhe has indeed a good deal to 
offer. It is just big enough to allow for social 
festivities on a moderately grand scale, and 
it is just small enough to allow each small 



12 MY GERMAN YEAR 

personage to play a big and brilliant part in the 
public eye. And apart from its social advantages, 
there are certain other points in its favour which 
even the most determined grumbler would find it 
hard to deny. In the first place, it is a comparatively 
new town. Some two hundred years ago a certain 
Grand-Duke Karl, having quarrelled with his parHa- 
ment and, generally speaking, come to loggerheads 
with his capital, turned his back on the whole trouble- 
some society, and went in search of " peace at any 
price." He beheved that he had found it in a lovely 
sylvan spot a few miles away from his original 
" residenz," so, to spite his parhament, and also to 
repair his shattered nervous system, he set to work 
and built a castle in the midst of the forest, thereby 
hoping to have created for himself a refuge from the 
bickering and nagging of his unruly subjects. Under 
the mistaken impression that he had succeeded he 
christened the place Karlsruhe (Karl's Best or Peace). 
Alas ! this action proved all too premature, for within 
a short time his renegade people, weary of their lone- 
liness, deserted the old capital, and a few years later 
their disconsolate ruler awoke to the fact that his 
peaceful refuge had become a veritable town, and the 
name " Karlsruhe '' a bitter irony. The poor Duke's 
feelings must have been very keen on the subject, 
for the stone at the entrance to the old Schloss bears 
the following melancholy if resigned inscription — 

" In Anno Domini 1715 1 was wandering in a wood, 
the abode of wild beasts. A lover of peace, I wished 
to pass my time in the study of creation, despising 
vanity, and paying a just homage to the Creator. 
But the people came also, and built what you here 



SOUTH GERMAN TOWNS 13 

see. Thus there is no peace so long as the sun shines, 
except the peace which is in God, and which you can, 
if you will, enjoy in the middle of the world. 1728.'^ 

Surely an irrefutable argument against the demo- 
crat who would prove that princes are an unloved 
and unsought after race ! 

At any rate, willingly or unwillingly, the good Karl 
had laid the foundation of a new capital ; the old 
one languished as a punishment for its unruliness, 
and is to-day an historical but somewhat dirty and 
uninteresting village, which in time will probably 
be swept clean and incorporated with the capital 
as a suburb. Karlsruhe, on the other hand, grew and 
prospered. In the beginning no more than a semi- 
circle of houses surrounding the Schloss-Platz, it 
spread out in regular fan-hke order until it reached 
its present dimensions. 

Thanks, therefore, to its recent foundation, it is 
exceptionally clean and well kept. When I say 
" exceptionally " I mean a good deal, for my im- 
pression of German towns as a whole is of cleanliness 
and order. The clearer, drier climate may account 
for this to some extent, but I think the real explana- 
tion Hes in the stern rule of the State or — in this 
particular instance — of the Town Council whose 
lynx-like glance pierces into the uttermost corner, 
and sees to it that that corner is made as habitable 
and as decent as is humanly possible. I do not think 
that the Enghshman would fancy that lynx-eye, 
although its interference is on the whole quite pater- 
nal, and not half so objectionable as is made out by 
people who wish to prove that the German is the 
most pohce-buUied man on earth. As a matter of 



14 MY GERMAN YEAR 

fact he is not bullied — he is " looked after." You 
can best imagine the situation if you consider every 
state in Germany as a " House '' in some big College, 
with its esfrit de corps, its own laws and customs, 
but under one all-uniting head. To carry the analogy 
to the end, the people are of course the students, 
divided into higher and lower classes, the masters 
the ministers, the ushers — if you hke — the pohce. 
And the maxim which rules the whole organisation 
is " that everything is for everybody's good."" Of 
course, this may seem a somewhat humihating 
system for grown-up people ; but when it is taken 
into consideration that there are more fools than 
wise men in the world, and that the folly of fools can 
be infinitely more harmful than the wickedness of 
the wicked, it is surely one that has its justification. 
Be it as it may, this system exists in Germany, and 
its results are to be seen in every department of Hf e, 
and not least in the town organisation. I do not say 
that it is a perfect organisation — there are sometimes 
quite startling if human lapses — but it is certain 
that it is an organisation which is toiling laboriously, 
if steadily, along the path of self-improvement. It 
is animated, too, by a certain amount of rivalry 
between the towns — especially between the capitals 
of the various states. So much exists still of old 
divided Germany, and so much is undoubtedly bene- 
ficial. The consequences are that each town does 
its best to attain the highest standard of law, order, 
and progress. 

From these points of view Karlsruhe justly reckons 
itself amongst the first — if not the first. Certainly, 
to walk through its symmetrically well-built streets is 



SOUTH GERMAN TOWNS 15 

to gain an impression of light, fresh air, and cleanli- 
ness. A whole army of neatly uniformed individuals 
are busy morning, noon, and night sweeping, watering, 
and sand-strewing according to orders. Sometimes 
the orders clash with unforeseen circumstances, as 
when a watering-cart is seen devotedly performing 
its duty in the teeth of a deluging thunderstorm, 
but on the whole they are carried out to the general 
benefit. And over everything the pohceman watches 
with a paternal, wakeful eye. If you wish to prove 
his wakefulness you need only leave your own particu- 
lar piece of pavement in an untidy state, and in a few 
minutes a pohte but firm arm of the law will spring 
apparently from nowhere to recall you to a sense of 
duty. I dare say he is very glad of something to do, 
for his hf e must be one of deadly monotony. Nothing 
ever seems to happen. The very horses, when it oc- 
curs to them to enhven proceedings by running away, 
do so at an easy jog-trot, and stop of themselves ; 
a burglary causes as much sensation as a full-grown 
revolution ; the so-called slums are places which, 
compared to our notions of the term, are paradises 
of law and order. So the pohceman, except on rare 
occasions, has practically nothing to do but stand 
about and wait and hope. On the above-mentioned 
" rare occasions," such as at the time of the Hau 
trial, when emotions ran high, the mihtary turns out, 
and there is a quick end to the matter. The mihtary, 
in fact, is a sort of active maid-of-all-work to the 
law, and is ready to assist at a revolution or a fire 
or an accident with the same excellent results. But, 
as I have said, these occasions are rare. Placidity 
and general propriety is in the atmosphere, and that 



16 MY GERMAN YEAR 

is no doubt why a certain class of people find such 
middle-sized town as Karlsruhe " langweilig/' There 
are amusements enough, but of a sober type, which 
would scarcely suit the wilder spirits. A sternly 
classical Hof-Theater, a couple of music halls— mere 
cafes, where acrobats and a mild vulgarity help to 
wile away the evenings for a lower class paterfamiHas, 
and even for the family itself — and a cinematograph 
of perfectly respectable and even didactic tendencies, 
are not forms of entertainment hkely to lead the 
imsteadiest into mischief. Whether it is this lack 
of temptation or the character of the people them- 
selves, or a httle of both, I do not know, but certain it 
is that the streets of Karlsruhe are safe at all 
hours for people not on the look-out for trouble, 
and in six years I have not seen either by day 
or night an intoxicated man, much less an in- 
toxicated woman. I should think the latter does 
not exist. 

There are no beggars ; begging is absolutely 
forbidden in all its forms except at the time of the 
Fair, and even then there are only one or two cripples, 
who are neither starved-looking nor ill-clothed. Street 
organs, German bands, all forms of pubhc nuisance, 
are unknown. The only noise one ever hears issues 
from the Wirts-Haiiser, where a Gesangs-Verein (a 
choral society) is gathered together over the beer 
glass to practice — perhaps a Bach oratorio ! 

Very little is left to pubUc enterprise, and the 
people seem satisfied that even their pleasures and 
recreation should be in the hands of the municipahty. 
They do not consider it any particular privation to 
be without a private garden, A big shady garden, 



SOUTH GERMAN TOWNS 17 

as we understand it and love it, is practically unknown 
— not on account of expense, the richest man in 
Karlsruhe has no more than a front patch — but 
simply because no one feels the need of such a thing. 
They are not in the least exclusive, and the pleasure 
of sitting shut ofi from the world in your own httle 
bit of private property has no charm for them. The 
average South German prefers to live and breathe and 
take his pleasure with others, and since the munici- 
pahty provides him with woods and parks and pubhc 
garden, why should he bother to spend money on 
something which he must enjoy in comparative 
sohtude ? So he keeps his Uttle plot, if he has one, 
in fair order, and plants a few flowers in it to keep 
up the cheerful appearance of the street, and spends 
his free time and his spare money drinking his glass 
of beer with his family in the Stadt-garten, and 
Hstening to the band and greeting his friends. Or, 
if he wishes for peace, there is the forest and the 
Wild Park open to him. In this respect Karlsruhe 
is perhaps unusually fortunate, for so much remains 
of the poor Duke Karl's first surroundings that it is 
possible in five minutes from the centre of the town 
to lose oneself in what seems an endless pine-forest, 
and forget that trams and motors and crowds ever 
existed. Bicycling and footpaths are beautifully kept, 
and one can, I beheve, walk in the cool pine-scented 
shade as far as Mannheim, some thirty miles away. 
(This is mere hearsay, as personally I have never 
made the experiment.) All this is pubhc property, 
and on Sunday it is made good use of by the sociable 
hohday folk who cannot afiord the necessary 20 pf. 
which gains an entrance into the Stadt-garten, where 



18 MY GERMAN YEAR 

a military band, a good restaurant, and a beautifully 
kept flower-garden, help to bring refreshment to the 
hard-working German. It is always crowded, and I 
think the point that strikes a foreigner most in a 
walk through the unprotected flower paths, even on 
a grand hoHday when children and people of all 
classes abound, is that no one is rough, no one ill- 
mannered, no one attempts to touch the flowers or 
trample on the lawns. There is no paper-throwing 
or any form of disorder. I am sure, after the fullest 
day, the gardens are as tidy, as well kept, as they were 
in the early hours of the morning. Everything, like 
the people themselves, is orderly and clean and 
peaceful. 

Then, if you are more select, and wish to leave the 
crowds behind you, there is the Wild Park, the pro- 
perty of the Grand-Duke, who allows you an entrance 
for the sum of 10 marks yearly as a sort of guarantee. 
No motors are allowed, and a sylvan peace inhabits 
the long straight allees of mingled pine and oak. A 
rider galloping along the horse-path, a green-coated 
forester with his dog and gun, a woodcutter or two, 
the Grand-Duke himself — such are the only people 
you are likely to meet on your rambles. Number- 
less squirrels will scuttle across your path, herds of 
deer will watch you curiously from amidst the trees, 
and perhaps towards evening a family of wild boars 
— ^wild only in name, be it said for your reassurance — 
will jog comfortably from one shady glade to another, 
but these accentuate rather than disturb your loneh- 
ness. It is as though the place were your own private 
property, and who can be surprised, therefore, if the 
Karlsruher neglects to acquire gardens of his own 



SOUTH GERMAN TOWNS 19 

when he can enjoy so much for a modest 10 mark 
piece ? And even if that sum cannot be spared, 
there is enough to be had for nothing. 

Thus, as I have said, the State or the Municipahty 
takes at least one form of pubHc amusement into its 
own hands. It lays out gardens in every vacant spot, 
it arranges for certain enclosures where children can 
play in safety, for tennis places and football places — 
the latter to be had for the mere asking. No one, 
in fact, need feel privation where fresh air and flowers 
and trees are concerned. But the hand of the powers 
that be stretches still further into the pubhc Hfe. 
In a hundred ways the State watches over the welfare 
of its charges — ^its children in every sense of the word. 
It even makes it its business to see that the guileless 
pubHc is not swindled by quack doctors with quack 
medicines. Almost any day you will find in the 
official paper a large printed notice issued by the 
officer of health warning against some patent medicine 
(how many popular EngHsh remedies have I seen 
thus held up to the Hght of ridicule !), and woe to 
him who endeavours to foist wares on to the pubhc 
which are not all they are said to be ! Again there 
is scarcely an institution of real value to the general 
population which is not partly or entirely supported 
either by the Grand-Duke or the town. Thus the 
hospital — one of the most modern and beautiful in 
Europe — does not depend for its existence on 
capricious charity. It is the property of the town, 
and is arranged to receive every class, from the 
poorest to the richest. The theatre does not depend 
on the favour of the pubhc ; it is the property of the 
Grand-Duke, and can afford therefore to be good. The 



20 MY GERMAN YEAR 

trams and railways are nearly all State, and conse- 
quently the conductors and railway officials, down to 
mere porters, are decently uniformed, and not allowed 
to perform their duties in any rags they choose. So 
it is in every branch of Hfe. Everything is organised, 
nothing left to the sHpshod, haphazard notions of the 
muddler, or of private companies bent on their own 
gain. No doubt the system has its grave disadvantages. 
Personal charity is discouraged, and there is a general 
lack of pubhc initiative. I think this latter is the 
worst evil. It is almost as though the system of 
" being looked after '* has paralysed the spirit of 
undertaking. What the State does not do no one 
does. And the State is sometimes appalUngly slow 
and cumbersome in its movements, so that reforms 
are dreamed of in one generation and executed in 
the next. Even the shops seem infected with the 
disease. No shopman tries to do better than another, 
in cheapness or in quaHty or in novelty. He shrugs 
his shoulders at you if he cannot supply you with 
what you want. " We don't keep it, and so you 
won't be able to get it in Karlsruhe," they say. And 
they are perfectly right. It is the same everjrwhere. 
Where the State's hand is at work, you can be sure 
that it is for the general good and that it will be 
thoroughly done, but the State has no idea of hurry- 
ing itself. It takes its time, and there is no pubhc 
spirit to arouse it or to take its place. And even 
if the pubhc spirit is momentarily aroused, it is 
quite powerless. The State also shrugs its shoulders. 
" Take it or leave it— just as you hke. / don't 
care ! " Whereupon the public spirit is immediately 
subdued and humbled. 



SOUTH GERMAN TOWNS 21 

Added to all this, there is a good deal of necessary 
but not very pleasant interference in private Hfe. 
To look after its children the State has to employ 
an immense army of officials, who have the right to 
appear in your house any time of the day, and ask 
any idiotic question that may occur to them. They 
are always very poHte and apologetic, but it is their 
business to interfere, and so they interfere to the best 
of their abihty. I say this out of the bitterness of 
my heart, because in reahty I know that the inter- 
ference is necessary to the State plans, but it is none 
the less irritating and tiresome. Of course the 
German grumbles, but I do not think he minds in 
the least ; he takes a grievance or an interference 
as a necessary evil, and is thankful that he has not 
to bother about putting it right. 

Hence you have in Karlsruhe some rather 
startling contradictions — elegant tramways in one 
street, a miserable Httle railway in another ; admir- 
able sanitary arrangements in one house, an anti- 
quated if healthy enough system in another; admirable 
poHce, and a fire-brigade of aged amateur muddlers 
who arrive on the scene of action an hour after 
everything is over. Of course, one day all this will 
be regulated to an equal state of perfection — as 
soon as the Powers begin to move. But the 
Powers are very slow, and the pubHc are incapable 
of spurring them on. One has to wait and be 
patient. 

This is the worst I have to say. Taken as a whole, 
Karlsruhe is a healthy, orderly, successful town, 
having its counterparts in every State in Germany. 
The German spirit is slow but thorough, and it is 



22 MY GERMAN YEAR 

a natural consequence that the towns it builds 
should be slow but thorough also. 

So much, therefore, for my German home. Let 
me now pass on to the people amongst whom my 
German year is spent. 



CHAPTEE III 



THE TWO TYPES 



LOOKING back to the innocent days, when I 
knew nothing at all about Germans and dis- 
liked them heartily, I have a vague recollection of 
having always had two distinct types in my mind's 
eye. The one was a tall, fierce-looking individual 
with a monstrous Kaiser-moustache, an insolent 
stare, and excessively bad manners. He was the 
sort of person who pushed ladies off the pavement, 
and was generally notorious as a swaggering, spur- 
cHcking, Schwert-rasselende bully. He was the type 
which I fancy Mark Twain once described when in 
a serious mood, and was altogether detestable. On 
the other hand, there was the second type — a stout 
person with glasses, a drooping, untidy moustache, 
long greasy hair, and a passion for poetic outpourings. 
He was very exclamatory, easily moved to tears or 
laughter, ready to embrace every one at first sight, 
and if not exactly detestable, at any rate deserving 
of a mildly amused pity. 

These two types exist to-day — ^in our Hterature — 
and are as immortal as the flat-footed, horse-toothed, 
bewhiskered lamp-post in loud check trousers and 
grey top-hat, which is still recognised on the Continent 
as the " Typical EngHshman." Of course that type 



24 MY GERMAN YEAR 

of Englishman — if he ever existed at all — is as dead 
as the period in which he Hved, and we nowadays 
may well wonder over the caricature which in our 
eyes has no resemblance to the reality. I suppose, 
therefore, that the German has the right to wonder 
over the two distinct pictures we have made of him. 
Of course, all three are pure caricature, which have 
just sufficient truth in them to make them laughable. 
Here and there it is possible ro run across a cadaverous- 
looldng EngHshman, with a Baedeker and field-glasses, 
who bears a family likeness to that old type, and 
here and there one does meet with Germans who 
remind us of the pictures we have seen or the accounts 
we have read. The truth is, that in their desire to 
make fun of each other each nation has chosen out 
the extreme — one might almost say exceptional — 
tjrpes of the other and labelled them as "typical." 
I have experienced the same thing in a small way. 
I once walked through the streets of Karlsruhe with 
a newly arrived English friend, and noticed how she 
passed over all the good-looking, well-set-up people, 
of which there were plenty, and waited until we met 
an uncouth-looking specimen, when she nudged me. 
** Isn't that a typical German ? '' she exclaimed. 

Of course he was not in the least typical — he was 
the exception. What she really meant was that he 
was the " typical exception " — that he could not 
have been anything else but German. But no doubt 
she still cherishes the idea that most Germans are 
like him, just as most Germans beUeve that Enghsh 
people are lanky and ugly and extremely rude. 

Revenans a nos moutons ! Where and how have 
our too distinct pictures of the Teuton been found ? 



THE TWO TYPES 25 

As a rule we do not bother to reconcile them. We 
know that the one is there for the use of the serious 
author, who wishes to impress his reader with the 
brutahty of the German creature, and the other for 
the humorist who wants a ridiculous puppet to poke 
fun at. And yet there is the inevitable grain of 
truth. There are two types of Germans, and if the 
difference between them is exaggerated almost 
beyond recognition, it exists none the less. 

The Prussian is of course the swaggering bully, 
and the South German the fat sentimentalist. The 
great distance of land which separates them, the 
difference of chmate, are quite sufficient to account 
for the difference between the two great types. The 
bitter northern winds, the long stretches of bleak 
and barren territory, has made the North German a 
man of iron, stern, resolute, reserved. The rich, 
fertile soil, the mountain sides covered with vine, 
the warm sunshine, has made the South German easy- 
going, cheerful, emotional, and expansive. Hence 
the Bavarian gentleman recognises the Prussian 
even before he speaks. Not as in England, the 
hall-marking characteristics do not confine them- 
selves to the lower classes. The gentleman is proud 
of his " dialect,'' and in fact of everything which 
pubhshes his origin and birthplace. This is the case 
not only between north and south, but between one 
State and another, between one district and another. 
I have known a rich educated man who fiercely objected 
to his daughter being taught "hoch Deutch,'' although 
her dialect was Hmited to a certain minute tract of 
land, out of which no one understood her. Of course 
he was old-fashioned. The tendency nowadays is 



26 MY GERMAN YEAR 

to rub ofE all distinctions, and gradually the differ- 
ences which mark the Black Forester from his brother 
from the Palatmat, and so on, will disappear. But 
the greater distinctions remain, and will always 
remain, just as certain characteristics will always 
divide the EngUshman and the Scotsman into two 
races. 

In Germany the differences were, and to some 
extent are, the outcome of pohtical divisions. Forty 
years ago they were fostered and cherished as a 
proof of patriotism. Then a man was theoretically 
(Jerman and practically a Bavarian, or a Prussian, or 
a Hanoverian, with the particular interests of his 
own particular State at heart. Now, though the 
name " German " has been given, both theoretically 
and practically, the prime importance, " local pat- 
riotism " still flourishes side by side with the old 
grievances and dislikes. Let it be made at once 
clear that these are no more than sentimental. 
They 'are of no real value whatever ; and the man who 
cried out for the redivision of Germany or the over- 
throw of Prussia as the ruling power, even if he 
stood in the midst of a crowd of rabid anti-Prussians, 
would be treated as a harmless lunatic. Still, just 
as the German of all classes loves to grumble, so he 
loves to emphasise his hatreds and his reasons for 
their existence. Hence the North and South Germans 
are declared enemies. To hear them talk one would 
imagine that an ocean divided them, but I fancy it 
is all talk. At any rate, the differences are not so 
great that one cannot sit between them at a dinner 
table and be equally charmed with both. The 
Prussian is perhaps more correct, more tenacious 



THE TWO TYPES 27 

with the forms and ceremonies ; at the end of the 
meal he will shake yomr hand and wish you " Geseg- 
nete Mahlzeit " with a deep bow ; the opinions he 
expresses are strongly conservative and imperial. 
The South German, on the other hand, skips over 
formahties if he can do so with safety — especially 
if you are a foreigner ; his manners are easier and 
hghter ; he has Kberal, even mildly democratic, 
tendencies ; you see, in a word, in every detail, the 
far-ofi glimmer of the characteristics which go to 
make up the genuine people of the South. But these 
distinctions are by no means so striking as to stamp 
" truth "" upon the caricatures which I described 
at the beginning of the chapter. The Prussian's 
stifiness does not for an instant amount to rudeness 
or even abruptness, nor is he in the least the wooden 
bully of the fables. Nor need you be afraid of the 
South German breaking into either sentiment or 
raptures ; and indeed, unless you are very wideawake 
and on the look out, you may never reaUse that there 
is any difierence at all. Or perhaps your right-hand 
neighbour may tell you that the South German is a 
" schlappiger Kerl "" (careless, slovenly fellow), and 
your left-hand neighbour that the Prussian is " un- 
gemiithch " (untranslatable, but infers stiff and 
unpleasant), both in low- voiced asides, which arouse 
you to the fact that you are sitting between sworn 
foes. As I have said, I do not think the antagonism 
is of much account. Your two neighbours are 
probably bosom friends, except in theory, and I have 
noticed that the North German, though he is loud 
in his contempt for his careless, devil-may-care com- 
patriot, is quite ready to join in his devil-may-care 



28 MY GERMAN YEAR 

ways on the very first opportunity offering itself. 
Certain it is that the Prussian officers who are com- 
manded to South German regiments never want to 
go back to their native soil. They grumble at what 
they call the " slovenHness "" of the South German 
soldier, and the more easy-going discipline of his 
officers, but there is a mildness in the atmosphere, 
a warmth in the Rhine wine, and a cheery, happy-go- 
lucky air about every one, which even the stern 
discipline-loving Prussian cannot long resist. He 
too melts, and as time passes he shrinks involuntarily 
from the thought of the icy northern winds and the 
rigour of the northern discipUne. And, after all, 
the relaxation, such as it is, cannot be accounted 
very serious, at any rate from a military point of 
view. True it may be that the Prussian soldier is a 
shade " strammer," the buttons on his uniform a 
shade brighter, that the Prussian officer is a shade 
more punctiHous in the accomplishment of his duty, 
a shade more the man of iron and blood as Bismarck 
loved him. But what are shades of difierence, 
especially when they are atoned for, as in this case, 
by so much Mutterwitz, good-humour, and good- 
nature ? 

In private life, where the individual is freer to 
follow his inclination and temperament without fear 
of reprimand, the differences become less shadowy, 
more noticeable. The south German loves to take 
things comfortably ; he has a weakness for the dolce 
far nienUy which the ItaHan manages with so much 
grace, but which nature never meant for the sturdy 
Teuton. He was meant for exertion in storm and 
sunshine, constant hard work and bitter privations, 



THE TWO TYPES 29 

and up to the last years Providence has seen to it 
that he has had enough of all three. Thus his 
tendency to take things easily does not suit him as 
far as outward matters are concerned. It shows 
itself early in hfe as a " letting himself go/' a certain 
slovenHness in appearance and habits which calls 
down the ire of the North German and the contempt 
of the foreigner. To give an instance : a middle- 
class man (I say " middle-class "" with reservations, 
because our middle-class does not exist in Germany ; 
" educated "" would be perhaps the better term) 
does not think of changing into evening clothes 
unless on some really festive occasion. On the 
contrary, he sHps into the oldest and most comfort- 
able garment he possesses, with the irrefutable argu- 
ment, " Why shouldn't I be at my ease after a hard 
day's work, and why should I put on my expensive 
clothes in order to partake of beer and cold meat ? " 
Even when he goes to the theatre he does not trouble 
to change. In the first place, evening clothes are 
not " evening " clothes for him. They are the correct 
garments to assume at all great functions, at what- 
ever time of the day ; and theatre-going is not a great 
function, it is part of his daily hfe, part of his daily 
work, one might safely say, for what German family 
of only moderate means does not have its season 
ticket ? Added to this, he does not care for appear- 
ances, and he knows that no one of his position, does. 
So long as he has a title of some sort to hall-mark 
him as a man of a certain position he knows that 
no one of his set — the only set he cares about — ^will 
venture to criticise him or his clothes. So he goes 
about in his happy-go-lucky way, and the shght, 



30 MY GERMAN YEAR 

good-looking, smartly-dressed student loses his figure 
and his smartness with painful, astonishing rapidity. 
It is the same with his wife, at whose devoted head 
her northern sister thunders the epithets of " dis- 
orderly,'' " extravagant," " careless," " untidy," 
and " inelegant." She, too, takes matters " auf die 
leichte Schulter." As soon as she has got her husband 
her most serious business in Kfe is at an end, and she 
proceeds along the dangerous path marked as 
" gemutHch." Not that she is without pride, but it 
turns on position rather than appearances. If she 
is a Greheimratin (the wife of a councillor), she can 
wear mittens and cotton gloves and dowdy dresses 
without shame — ^in fact no one bothers what she 
wears. But I must emphasise that all this appHes 
only to the South German, and then chiefly to one 
particular class — ^the educated class. The self-same 
Greheimratin in Prussia has already a certain style ; 
her interests are more equally divided between her 
position and the way in which she should represent 
it. Her husband may even attend dinner in evening 
dress, though she is not likely to follow him so far 
as to assume ddcollete. Even in South Germany there 
is a class which lays considerable stress on outward 
form and appearance — that of the aristocracy. Of 
course, where the aristocracy is poor — as it very 
often is — elegance is still lacking, and no one thinks 
anything about it, but where there is money as well 
as name you at once find all the outward refinements 
of life observed with true German thoroughness. 
Thus it is possible to attend a South German theatre 
on a festive night, and, without having seen the people 
before, to pick out the aristocracy simply by their 



THE TWO TYPES 31 

dress and general appearance. I myself have attended 
a ball where I was able among the hundred guests to 
pick out the one solitary " von." And in this I was 
only led by the cut of his coat, and a Httle by the 
general appearance of the man. It goes without 
saying that there are glaring exceptions. I know a 
certain baroness who might, without any stretch of 
imagination, be taken for her own cook, but these 
exceptions occur in every country, and cannot be 
taken into account. 

On the same scale the North German of privileged 
birth is still more " correct,"" still more careful to be 
dressed according to the dictates of custom and 
fashion. In making this statement I must warn 
against all exaggeration. The average South German 
is not the uncultured, unwashed yokel of the novels. 
At his worst he is a Httle rough and ready, a trifle 
" derb," a trifle indiflerent to outward things, but 
he rarely fails where the poHteness and refinement 
of the heart are concerned. And even the occasional 
lack of pohsh is beginning to be a thing of the past, 
and will disappear altogether when the German has 
acquired riches enough, and has had time and ex- 
perience enough to apply them to his physical and 
material culture. The accounts of German family 
life which I have read in certain EngHsh novels belong, 
for the most part, to a state of things which may have 
existed two generations ago. Certainly they do not 
exist nowadays. A great deal has already changed, 
and a great deal will be changed within a very short 
time. For excessive culture and refinement in a 
State and in a people is always the signal of decHne, 
and the Germans are not declining; they are 



32 MY GERMAN YEAR 

advancing fast, and in the advance are learning 
to acquire polish as well as strength. 

To return from prophecy to my friend the South 
German, I must say in his defence that his easy-going 
habits extend only to physical matters. He is a 
hard and wilHng brain-worker, and the spectacle 
of a " man of leisure "" is a rare sight. He has 
infinitely fewer hohdays and longer hours than the 
Enghshman, and the worst thing that can befall 
him is to be deprived of his occupation, even though 
it be by old age. It is this tenacity, this love of 
work for work's sake, rather than conmiercial talent, 
which makes the German a dreaded rival. He may 
be inclined to be slovenly in his dress, and he may 
not care very much whether his clothes are well or 
badly cut ; he may grow stout from want of exercise 
(as I have said. Nature intended him for hardship, 
and when things are physically too comfortable for 
him she revenges herself with an avoirdupois which 
an Enghshman is spared, even though he eat and 
drink double), but in his office he is unpitying, with 
himself and with his subordinates. And he is highly 
educated, not only in his profession but in other 
branches, in art, in music, and in science. It would not 
be too much to say that the average German knows 
more about Enghsh hterature than the average 
Enghshman. From a mental standpoint he is in- 
exhaustible, and perhaps quicker and more intelligent 
than his northern brethren, who are physically stronger 
and more active. 

The same criticism appKes to the womenfolk. 
Physical activity is new to them, and has come too 
late to save the present generation of mothers from 



THE TWO TYPES 33 

stoutness, but mentally they atone for all other 
shortcomings. I shall have occasion to speak of the 
much-despised German woman later, so that for the 
present I will confine myself to her HerrGemahl, who is 
a good-hearted, cheerful, industrious person, extremely 
sociable, intensely sensitive. This last point is a very 
important one to notice, if you wish to live with him in 
peace and amity. He is easily hurt. He has not been 
through the rough-and-tumble of an Enghsh pubKc 
school, and even his year with the troops has not 
hardened him The abuse of the under-officer does 
not affect him, as coming from an inferior, and the 
chaff of his equals is always kept within bounds. 
The very real existence of the duelling system is at 
the bottom of the courtesy with which the men 
treat each other ; and no matter how young he is, a 
German will be careful to treat his comrade, his 
comrade's family, and his comrade's opinions with 
a certain respect, as things which are guarded by the 
sword and the pistol. Hence the German's sensitive- 
ness, which is part of his character, is fostered by 
circumstance, and often brings him into conflict with 
his Anglo-Saxon cousin. The Enghshman, it must 
be admitted, has very httle consideration for other 
people's toes when he is on the Continent. I have 
known really nice Enghsh people who thought 
nothing of making fun of some German custom in 
the very face of the Germans themselves, and I must 
confess that I feel nervous when I have Enghsh 
friends to stay with me, lest they should blurt out 
their opinions and cause an irreparable disaster. 
Moreover, they are not given to expressing their 
gratitude or admiration in very ardent terms, and 
3 



34 MY GERMAN YEAR 

consequently the German is very often hurt indeed. 
To say merely " Thank you very much "" to a German 
after an afternoon tea or some such mild form of 
hospitahty, is equivalent to saying " I have not 
enjoyed myself in the least," and you will be put 
down as cold and ungrateful. Not to express 
voluntary admiration, whether it be over a dress or 
a dinner or a work of art, is to be intensely disagree- 
able. It does not matter how bad or how ugly 
things are, you must always hide your feehngs 
behind elaborate praise. This is the German's 
form of pohteness — never to say anything disagree- 
able. It is not the shallow, cjmical flattery of the 
Frenchman. In nine cases out of ten he means what 
he says ; his good-nature is ready to make the 
best of everything, and he can more easily persuade 
himseK that things are really beautiful than bring 
himself to utter the brutal truth. He shrinks from 
harsh criticism, and he dishkes to administer it. 
Not that he is incapable of criticism. He is perfectly 
wilhng to abuse himself and all his belongings, from 
his house to his Kaiser, in the bitterest terms, but if 
you are led away to agree with him, you must be 
prepared for the worst. He will never forgive you. 

This painful degree of personal and national 
sensitiveness often brings a newcomer in the Father- 
land into difficulties, and has cost many an English- 
man his chance of popularity. But once you have 
learnt to treat his feehngs with respect, you will find 
the German the most amiable, kindly host, and the 
most thankful and enthusiastic guest. A little 
imderstanding, a Httle sympathy in our pubhc and 
in our private life — alas, how httle is necessary and 



THE TWO TYPES 35 

how much less is given ! — and perhaps we should 
not hear so much of " strained relations/' and "Anglo- 
German incidents," and " war scares/' We might 
build up an entente cordiale with our cousin — surely 
a more natural and fitting one — and grow to admire 
him and like him, as I trust, reader, you may feel 
more inclined to do when you have travelled through 
my German year with me. 



CHAPTER IV 



THE MAGIC CIRCLES 



"TTTE are preparing to give a dance — a very small 
» T one, be ib understood, but not on that account 
less weighty with anxiety. 

BngHsh hostess, if ever it seems to you on the 
eve of your great ball that you have been through 
more worry and bother than the whole thing is 
worth, that you have borne enough to exasperate an 
angel, that you are altogether the most harrassed 
person Hving, console yourself with the thought that 
your German sister has difficulties to contend with 
of which you know nothing. True it is that once 
she has got her guests together they are the easiest 
people in the world to satisfy, but until that bhssful 
moment what troubles and problems have to be 
overcome ! Can you imagine an ordinary residential 
town of about 100,000 inhabitants, and can you 
imagine those inhabitants divided into compact 
Uttle circles which will have nothing to do with each 
other if they can help it, but rotate on their own 
axis in proud independence ? CKques, you will 
suggest. No, " cHque "" is not the word. A " cHque " 
is a French thing, and this is essentially German. 
It may exist in modified degrees in other parts of 
the world, but only in Germany does it reach full 



THE MAGIC CIRCLES 37 

perfection and attain the dignity of a national 
institution. Every German and every German 
woman belongs to a " Kreis '' — a circle — and there 
are as many circles as there are professions. There 
is the exclusively Court Circle, the Aristocratic 
Circle, the Military Circle, the Official Circle, the 
Law Circle, the Musical Circle, the Art Circle, the 
Learned Circle, the Commercial Circle, the Jewish 
Circle, and so on ad infinitum. And they are all 
independent, all more or less exclusive. How they 
came to be formed is hard to say. The Court and 
Aristocratic Circles are natural growths, and I dare 
say the others followed as a matter of fashion, or per- 
haps as a sort of " slap back." (If you are shut out 
yourself, it is always a satisfaction to shut some one 
else out.) Some, no doubt — like the Jewish Circle — 
were inevitable. At any rate, there they are, and 
if, as sometimes happens, a husband belongs to one 
circle and the wife to another, severe comphcations 
can set in where entertaining is concerned. It must 
be admitted, however, that this constellation of 
circumstances is rare. A German usually picks out 
his wife from his own circle, or if he should look 
elsewhere, his choice is usually swallowed up, Httle by 
Httle, in her husband's entourage, and drifts out of 
her original sphere. The latter proceeding must be 
almost as painful as giving up one's nationahty. I 
cannot imagine a Fraiilein von X. marrying Herr 
FabrikantZ.,and not retaining an inborn contempt for 
his friends and his ways ; I cannot imagine either that 
his friends will ever forget that she is an an Aristocrat 
and an outsider, or cease to suspect her of arrogance. 
I cannot imagine a Fraiilein M. marrying a Herr 



38 MY GERMAN YEAR 

von N., and ever feeKng herself quite at home amongst 
her husband's people. If she is experienced, she will 
know that the first question they will ask is : " Was 
fiir eine geborene war sie ? " and that the answer 
will remind them that she is not " One of Us/' Hence 
people marrying out of their own circles must be 
prepared for some bad moments, and the practice is 
not encouraged. 

I have just given examples from the two largest 
and most important circles — the Aristocratic and 
Bourgeois — but I could give examples from all the 
others, which are circles within circles. If they are 
less strictly defined and exclusive from a matrimonial 
standpoint, they are still socially all-important. A 
lawyer's friends are lawyers, and if an officer or a 
professor or a doctor drifts into his " dinners," he 
is and remains an outsider — almost a foreigner. The 
professor chngs to his colleagues, and has no interest 
for any one else, and his wife must choose her women 
friends from the same circle. It is obvious, therefore, 
that if a host, through exceptional circumstances, 
has friends in more than one circle, it behoves him 
to be careful. Not that it would be exactly a faux 
pas to invite the professor with the officer, but it 
would undoubtedly be a deliberate flying in the face 
of the good fairy who presides over successful social 
gatherings. The officer and the professor would, of 
course, be exquisitely poHte, but they would have 
nothing to say, and both would go home grumbling 
at each other and at the host. This is perhaps an 
extreme case, because the two professions stand in 
every country at opposite poles. I can put the case 
clearer when I observe that, if you are inviting 



THE MAGIC CIRCLES 39 

officers, it bodes well for you if you manage to get 
them all out of the same regiment. If you give a mixed 
party, you will see at once that the mixture is a 
failure — that, in fact, the guests do not mix. The 
situation is still more marked when officers and 
civihans are invited together. In a moment the 
" Gesellschaft " divides itself into two distinct camps, 
the civilians keep to one side of the room, the officers 
to the other, and nothing on earth will bring them 
together. They will be exaggeratedly pohte to one 
another, and this alone is enough to spoil the 
" Stimmung."" And even worse would be an invita- 
tion which included Jews and — we will say — officers. 
Such a proceeding would be regarded as unpardon- 
able tactlessness, and is almost unthinkable — it makes 
me quite uncomfortable even to suggest it. 

Of course, what I have said, with the exception 
of the Jewish question, apphes itself more particularly 
to small " evenings." At a big ball or reception, where 
the elements lose themselves, it is safe to invite 
any one you know, so long as each circle is sufficiently 
represented to prevent any one from feeling that he 
is an outsider. In any case it is rare for a host, 
unless he be in a high State post, to belong to more 
than one circle. An instance may be given in the 
case of a professor of noble birth, who, besides his 
professional circle, belongs naturally to the Aristo- 
cratic Circle; or of a foreigner, whom the German 
does not count. For the German is more generous 
than his Anglo-Saxon cousin ; he does not apply 
his rules and standards to any one but himself. The 
Baron Z. will be quite ready to accept the Enghsh 
manufacturer as a gentleman, because he knows that 



40 MY GERMAN YEAR 

in England his own prejudices to not exist, and that 
in England a manufacturer can be, and very often 
is, of good birth. But towards his own people this 
big-heartedness at once stops. For the most part 
the Baron will only associate with his equals, the 
officer with the officer, the professor with the pro- 
fessor, and so on. I am speaking now as always of 
the South German, but in this particular instance 
my remarks apply with even more truth to the 
North German, who is in every way more exclusive 
and conservative. The Prussian officer is far more 
intolerant of the civihan than his southern comrade, 
and if he is " adehg "" (noble), he is far more inclined 
to show his contempt for the bourgeois. 

This brings me to touch on the two great divisions 
in German society — the aristocracy and the middle- 
classes. As I have said, in North Germany the 
division is more accentuated. The South German? 
as becomes his Kghter, more easy-going character, 
can overlook such distinctions, and sometimes he 
does, but not often. For the Kastengeist (caste- 
spirit, or whatever you hke to call it), is by no means 
dead in Germany. It may be diminishing, but 
certainly it is still sufficiently powerful to inspire an 
outsider with awe, and at first indignation. When I 
first came to Germany I thought the whole system 
a disgraceful piece of narrow-mindedness, but gradu- 
ally I grew accustomed to the idea, and now look 
upon it as a matter of course, and with as much 
sympathy as a foreigner can feel for an entirely 
German way of looking at things. I must confess 
that the system sounds distinctly snobbish. The 
officer sounds snobbish when he is talking about the 



THE MAGIC CIRCLES 41 

civilist, the barrister about the merchant, the Herr 
von So-and-So about the simple Herr Schmidt, the 
Geheimratin about her next-door neighbour, the 
titleless Frau Miiller. And yet somehow the Germans 
do not impress me as a snobbish people. Perhaps 
it is because the German, though his name and his 
title are everything to him, does not boast about 
either — there is, in fact, nothing for him to boast about, 
because he is always with people of the same rank, 
and does not care to be with those whom he might 
impress, or perhaps it is because his snobbishness 
rarely takes the most objectionable form of " purse 
pride." The time has not yet come in Germany 
when riches alone can buy position. The poverty- 
stricken scion of an old and noble family still counts 
more than the farvenu^ith. milhons; the most exclusive 
doors open to the ring of a good name, when Money- 
Bags jingles in vain. The position of the Jew proves 
my point. Not all the pressure in the world has 
enabled the wealthiest Jew either to buy his way 
into good society or into the army; the merchant, 
unless he have something else besides his money to 
back his pretentions, cannot hope for connections 
in any other circle than his own. The elect hold 
tenaciously together, fighting desperately against 
all new-comers, and especially against the new-comer 
who tries to buy his admission. Snobbish it may be, 
narrow-hearted if you like, but for my taste it is an 
evil with a healthy tendency — it rejects money as a 
touchstone ; it has surely a nobler savour about it 
than the hideous kow-towing to wealth, which 
flourishes elsewhere, and I confess that I prefer the 
needy German baron with his sixteen quarterings 



42 MY GERMAN YEAR 

and his snobbishness to our friend Sir Simpkins, with 
his bought title and his snobbishness, which is the 
most pitiful thing on earth. At any rate, there the 
fact stands — of all the circles of German society that 
of the aristocracy is the most exclusive, the most 
tenacious of its privileges. Other circles may relax 
their severity towards each other — the Geheimratin, 
the Frau Professor, the Frau Doktor, the Frau 
Kommerzienrat may all recognise each other as equals 
and sometimes as friends, but the aristocrat stands 
apart. It is not that he never enters into foreign 
circles — he does so, sometimes, because in these 
democratic days circumstances compel him, but he 
remains an exile, and he is only really at his ease 
amongst those of his own position. By the other 
circles he is looked upon with mingled feehngs. The 
good bourgeois famihes — those who themselves can 
trace back honourable if unadorned names into the 
earher centuries — look upon him with respect, and 
are proud if they figure on his visiting hst, but there 
is a class by whom he is detested with a truly 
" sour-grapes "" detestation. The rich parvenu, the 
self-made man with democratic tendencies, the Jew, 
all these pour their spite and bitterness over the 
" junker, "" and are loud in their mockery of the 
" Kastengeist "" which thrusts them outside the pale. 
Hence in the German Witzblatter, where the demo- 
cratic spirit is at its height, you will always find the 
nobleman and the officer depicted as an imbecihc, de- 
generate, arrogant ne'er-do-weel. There is no truth in 
the picture — no more than if a social-democrat were 
painted as a red-capped anarchist going about with 
a bomb in one hand and a bloody knife in the other — 



THE MAGIC CIRCLES 43 

it is simply the venomous outpourings of a great class- 
hatred. The nobility is an openly privileged class — 
not only in society, but in every branch of State 
business. In the army the titled officer has always 
a greater chance than his " biirgherhcher "" comrade, 
and plain Lieutenant Schmidt knows that unless he 
manifests exceptional abihties he is fairly certain to 
stumble at the fatal " Major's-corner," as it is called ; 
that unless he has proved worthy of having the patent 
of nobihty conferred on him for that purpose, he 
will never be able to hold a high post. And in every 
case where the State is concerned the same rule holds 
good — family before everything. No matter how 
poor the family may be, so long as it is honourable, 
it can always reckon on the support of the reigning 
house, and in fact of every one belonging to the mighty 
Brotherhood. All this, naturally enough, excites 
extreme bitterness and hatred in the hearts of those 
who, perhaps more successful, see the gates shut 
against them because of their meaner birth. They 
see in the system a contemptible injustice, an absurd 
rehc from the feudal ages. And yet it must be said 
in defence of the much-abused Kastengeist that it 
has its reasons, and it has its virtues. One of the 
virtues I have already mentioned — its hereditary 
indifference to wealth ; another is that though the 
nobihty shut their doors against the wealthy parvenu, 
they fling them wide open to the Genius. The rich 
Jew will be passed over, but the poor musician, the 
struggling painter, if he possess the divine spark in 
his soul, can hope for the highest privileges in the 
land, and not hope in vain. I know of cases without 
number where untitled painters and musicians — 



44 MY GERMAN YEAR 

peasant's sons some of them — have been the guests 
and intimate friends of the reigning Duke, and have 
associated in the very circle where, had they been 
the richest merchants, they would have been ignored. 
The spirit which animated the old nobihty in their 
patronage and love of genius exists to-day, and is 
one of the many reasons why the spirit of Art is at 
home in Germany, whereas in other countries it is 
more or less a pampered exile. 

Thus in justice we cannot call the aristocrat 
narrow-hearted, unless it is narrow-hearted to pick 
and choose the people with whom one wishes to 
associate. This he certainly does, and those who 
wish to pass into his magic circle must undergo a 
severe test. It is not sufficient, as I have pointed 
out, that a man should be wealthy, that he should 
be well dressed and have good manners. (The first 
of these advantages can be bought, the second is 
expected of every one.) The questions which will 
be asked of him are : " What is your name ? Who 
was your father ? What was he ? What are you ? '' 
If the name should be Schmidt, the father a tradesman, 
there is only one hope left in the question, " What 
are you ? '' and if the candidate can answer, " I am 
a good musician, a good painter, a genius even in a 
small way,"" he is saved, and he becomes a welcome 
guest even amongst the highest and the greatest. 
This is hardly snobbery ; it bears within it the germ 
of a great idea — the idea of a class which is really 
elect, which really concentrates within itself the best 
and noblest blood of the nation. Does the democrat 
protest that the best and noblest blood is not to be 
found in the aristocracy, that birth and family are 



THE MAGIC CIRCLES 45 

nothing, no guarantee for anything save perhaps 
degeneracy ? I can only answer that I have no 
theories, and that I can only see what my eyes show 
me. And my eyes show me that the aristocracy of 
Germany — I include every grade from the baron to 
the Imperial family — ^is one of the finest, if not the 
finest, in Europe, and that amongst its members are 
to be found the best quahties of the Teuton — fidehty, 
Pfhchtgefiihl, and partiotism — developed to the 
highest pitch of which they are capable. Let there 
be no exaggeration. There are counts and countesses 
who would be far better in the kitchen than in the 
Court ballroom; there are young scions of great 
houses who are in an state of over cultivation, and 
consequently have lost all trace of greatness ; there 
are cads and scoundrels in this mighty family, as 
there are in every family on earth. But I maintain 
that in the bulk the German aristocracy has a right 
to its pride and a right to its exclusiveness. It is 
a privileged class, not because of its past, but because 
its present bears the motto, " Noblesse obhge," and 
because it honestly strives to Uve up to its own high 
standards. No doubt the ''Noblesse obUge"is carried 
too far ; it leads men and women to exaggerate 
the guK between them and the other classes, and to 
maintain an almost Hebraic aloofness from every- 
thing and every one suspected of being " unclean,"" 
but the principle is a good one — even a great one. 
" We must not only abstain from evil, but from the 
appearance of evil,'" is the great law which governs 
the German nobleman's hfe. Hence, ahnost inevit- 
ably, the aristocracy shrinks back from the race for 
wealth. Let us imagine all the sons of our own 



46 MY GERMAN YEAR 

nobility, from the duke to the lowest knight since 
time immemorial, having inherited the titles and 
positions of their fathers, retaining the original 
pride of race, brought up to despise money-making 
in all its forms, and to hold King, country, and name 
before all other earthly goods, and consequently 
growing steadily poorer, and we have a fairly accurate 
picture of the German aristocracy as it stands to-day. 
I must repeat that there are always the exceptions, 
and no doubt the exceptions are increasing. Hard 
times are driving the sons of old f amihes into business, 
and the slow advancement in the army, and the 
inadequate pay, keep many from following the her- 
editary profession. But the old spirit Uves, and has 
Ufe in it to last for many generations to come. So 
long as it retains its loyalty, its high standard, its 
rigid code, its inimitable power of sacrifice, it will 
always be a mighty force in the nation. It is not 
always easy to Kve up to that high standard — the 
sacrifices are often very real, and sometimes tragic. 
I know personally of cases where gently nurtured 
women have endured hardships which would have 
disgusted an Enghsh scullery-maid, and brought 
sacrifices — sometimes of a whole fife's happiness — 
which would have been more than enough for the 
sternest ascetic, simply in order that the last repre- 
sentative of their name might five as became his 
rank and follow the profession of his fathers. And 
let no one throw stones at that last representative 
because he accepts the support and sacrifices of 
women. He is only obeying the law which governs 
his class, and he, too, has a bitter struggle to fight 
behind the seeming splendour. All this for a name 



THE MAGIC CIRCLES 47 

— a phantom ! It seems at first a pitiable waste of 
human strength and energy, and yet I suppose all 
ideals are phantoms ; and surely better ideals of 
this sort than none at all, better these fetishes of 
name and honour than the Golden Calf ! Moreover, 
these ideals, phantoms though they seem, have helped 
to make the German nobleman a man apart, not only 
in his opinions, his faults and virtues, but in his 
appearance. I have no real explanation or theory 
to offer ; but, as I have remarked before, it is possible 
for any one with moderate powers of observation to 
pick the nobleman out of a crowd of ordinary people. 
Is it that he has inherited a certain cachet, is it that 
his position has Hf ted him to a certain dignity, a higher 
sense of personal responsibihty, his education taught 
him more consideration for his physical well-being ? 
I do not profess to know. Probably everything has 
combined to produce in him a distinct type. At any 
rate, wealth has played no part in the make-up, for 
the German aristocrat is, as I have said, poor, and his 
life is one of extreme simphcity. The simpHcity is 
not that of the bourgeois — often no more than 
indifference and lack of cultivated taste — it is the 
simphcity of the Spartan, stamped with refinement, 
and no matter in what circumstances he fives the 
nobleman is unmistakable. When he has the ad- 
vantage of wealth, his inherited taste and culture are 
aUowed full play, though they scarcely ever lead him 
to extreme luxury, and never to ostentation. He 
dresses well but simply, and his whole fife continues 
to be marked with a certain dignified quiet. At the 
bottom, though he appreciates the power of wealth, 
he does not admire it for itself, and he does not care 



48 MY GERMAN YEAR 

for it to be admired. He would consider it bad 
taste to flaunt his money in the world's face^ and he 
avoids all " show/' Kefinement of hving and a 
quiet elegance are his sole luxuries, but they divide 
him widely from the circle beneath him. 

The circle beneath the aristocracy is the so-called 
middle-class, which, if solide, is usually neither very 
refined or elegant. Here, too, there are exceptions. 
I know bourgeois families altogether charming in 
themselves and in their mode of Hfe — I speak simply 
of the mass. It is the mass of this circle which the 
Enghshman describes when he comes home from his 
German hoHday as *' typical," and he compares it 
to the well-to-do middle-class in England, finding 
therefore sufficient reason to laugh at the small, 
cramped life which his German equivalent leads. 
But the Enghsh middle-class does not yet exist in 
Germany ; it is an exclusively English class, just as 
the nobihty in Germany is an entirely German class ; 
and if it is to be compared at all, it can only be com- 
pared to the wealthier section of the German aristo- 
cracy. But then this aristocracy is reserved and 
exclusive, and the average Enghsh traveller sees 
nothing of it. I remember my own surprise one 
evening when a Gala opera was being given in honour 
of some royal birthday. I was comparatively new 
to German ways and German people, and it was a 
revelation to me to see the finely built, often elegantly 
dressed, men and women who replaced the usual 
dowdy audience. For the first time I was brought 
to reahse the existence of a quiet world living entirely 
its own life, and showing itself rarely to the vulgar 
gaze. Yet this world is the world to which the Enghsh 



THE MAGIC CIRCLES 49 

gentleman belongs, it is the only world he has the 
right to compare with his own. Professionally he 
may belong to the same class as the Doktor Shulz 
or the Fabrikant Miiller, but in cultm'e and upbring- 
ing he belongs " higher up/' It is the average 
Enghshman's mistake on this point which leads to 
a whole string of misconceptions. We will suppose 
that Mr. Smith, lawyer, goes to Germany with an 
introduction to Herr Schmidt, Rechtsanwalt. He 
will probably find that in everything — ^in manners, 
in style, in mode of hfe, his host is at least several 
grades lower than himself. The Herr Schmidt may 
be the kindest-hearted man ahve, but he is possibly 
in everyday hfe a rather slovenly, stufiy, disorderly 
person, who would not think of changing in the 
evening and, perhaps, neglects the morning tub. 
He hves in the style of a small tradesman, but from 
a professional standpoint and also in education he is 
Mr. Smith's equal. His sons will no doubt hve as we 
consider a gentleman should hve, but he, poor man, 
has fought for his position too hard to have energy 
enough left to strive after refinement. He belongs 
to a class which has struggled up heroically from the 
people, and in a hand-to-hand battle with poverty 
won for itself the first great step upwards — education. 
It is educated, highly educated even, but the struggle 
has given it no time or opportunity to attain the 
outward pohsh which Enghsh people of the same 
positions were already beginning to cultivate thirty 
or forty years ago. 

As soon as we reahse that outward culture is 
only the result of inherited wealth, we shall understand 
why the German middle-class is so far behind our 
4 



50 MY GERMAN YEAR 

own that we can hardly compare them. Doctors, 
professors, architects, lawyers, small officials — they 
belong for the greater part to the tribe of the " Spiesz- 
biirgherhcer "" But it is only a question of time 
before a class will arise out of their midst and form 
a real and worthy bridge between the aristocracy 
and the lower orders. How short that time will be 
I will not venture to say ; but the German, now that 
he has overcome his old stumbling-blocks, disunity 
and poverty, is moving fast. Gradually the upward 
striving middle-class, the wealthy and travelled 
merchant, the nobleman with his ideals but without 
his prejudices, will drift together, and, meeting at 
last on common groimd, form a compact whole, the 
great bulwark of the nation and the immense force 
which, whether it be in peace or war, we shall one 
day have to confront. 

But all that is in the future. At present the 
dividing Kastengeist, having for its raison d'Stre 
very real differences, still exists and holds class from 
class, profession from profession. The Grosskauf- 
mann, with his wealth and resulting luxury, but with- 
out social position ; the professional man with position, 
but as yet without wealth, and consequently lacking 
outward culture ; the nobleman with his inherited 
culture, but ever lessening wealth, stand apart and 
take small interest in each other. 

But the gulf has narrowed, and is narrowing with 
every year. 



CHAPTER V 

KARLSEUHE SOCIABILITIES 

MY Karlsruhe friends — like most South. Germans — 
are sociable rather than hospitable. That is 
not to say that they are inhospitable — which would 
be a base calunjny — but if they can meet together 
without any grand outlay for entertaining, why, so 
much the better. And the reason therefore is ex- 
tremely simple — most of them cannot afford it. The 
first fact that every one must grasp in considering 
German life outside the great cities is that riches, 
even moderate riches in our sense of the word, are 
still rare, and where they are not rare they are at 
least so new that the possessors have not learnt 
to use them. They chng tenaciously to the 
careful, economical ways of their neighbours, and 
an invitation, no matter how small, is always an 
Event. 

I know an EngHsh lady who came to Karlsruhe 
with very warm introductions, and was disgusted 
because one family fulfilled its obhgations towards 
her with an afternoon tea ! She would have felt 
differently if she had known what preparations, 
what anxiety that tea had cost ! I suppose she 
thought that the cakes and little sandwiches were 
the usual things, and that she had been simply asked 



52 MY GERMAN YEAR 

to share in a common household meal. But indeed 
no ! Each cake, each sandwich was a luxury 
indulged in on only great occasions; and had my 
English friend paid a surprise visit she would 
have found the family drinking coffee, at most, with 
an accompaniment of rolls and bread and butter. 

Thus to be invited to a tea in Karlsruhe, whether 
it be chez the countess or the simple bourgeoise, is 
always more or less a serious business. There is no 
idea of " dropping in."" " Dropping in " is in fact 
a very rare custom. People pay their formal calls 
at twelve o'clock before dinner, and are usually not 
even received. The called-upon knows that the caller 
is on a mighty round, and the card tells her all that the 
caller wanted to say, " Don't forget me when you 
are inviting — I have called ! " In the afternoon 
only the most intimate members of the circle are 
allowed the privilege of " dropping in,'' and even 
then the treatment of the " dropper-in " (forgive, 
reader, the truly German temptation to coin words !) 
would shock an English hostess beyond expression. 
We will suppose that you are an intimate friend of 
Frau Schmidt. Chance has led you to call on her 
familty at tea-time. She will receive you with open 
arms, you will be planted on the sofa in the place of 
honour and implored to stay — but no refreshements 
will be offered you. If there are other members of 
Frau Schmidt's family present they will sHp out one 
by one, and return with a pleasant odour of coffee 
about them. And you must not be surprised or 
hurt. Frau Schmidt is really deHghted to see you, 
but it does not occur to her that you might want the 
coffee or the plain bread and butter which formed 



KARLSRUHE SOCIABILITIES 53 

the rest of her repast. But if she asks you to tea 
that is quite another matter. Then she moves 
heaven and earth and all the confectioners in 
Karlsruhe to make the invitation a magnificent 
function ; and you, as becomes so serious a business, 
will be expected to take ofi your coat and hat and 
prepare to make an afternoon and an evening of it. 
According to your hostesses^ means and position it 
will be a terrible or a tolerable time — I must confess 
that it is not likely to be amusing. We will suppose 
that she belongs to the well-to-do aristocracy. In 
that case the entertainment takes the form of an 
" at home/' to which both sexes are invited. Tea 
is handed round, and people wander about and talk 
to each other or listen to the music. For of course 
there is always some one in the company who can 
either play or sing — usually very well. So far so 
good — quite a Vanglaise except for the last point — 
but the difierence comes in when you reahse that it is 
a Great Invitation. You cannot wander in for 
half an hour or so and then wander out again. You 
have got to stay — unless you are possessed of 
unusual cunning — right to the bitter end. And the 
bitter end may be anywhere between seven and 
eight o'clock. In these " at homes " the four-hour 
sitting is tolerable, if only because of the mixed 
crowd and the consequent amusement of being able 
to watch and observe ; but a really genuine " Spiesz- 
biirgherhche '' afternoon tea-party is the most 
deadly and exhausting thing I know. It begins at 
four o'clock, and it goes on inevitably till eight. 
There are usually two sets of people invited — ^young 
girls and old ladies. After an enormous sit-down 



54 MY GERMAN YEAR 

tea, in which everything is present in the edible 
line from Caviar Brotchen to ices, the two parties 
divide and sit huddled together in adjoining rooms, 
and are bored to extinction. No one dares move 
until the eldest lady decides to take her de- 
parture, and as Fate has it that she must always 
be the one and only person to enjoy herself, there 
is no hope of escaping before the four hours have 
elapsed. 

Thus you can see that a German afternoon tea can 
be a ponderous and serious thing, not to be despised 
and not to be partaken of in too large quantities. 
It has the fault of most German entertainments — it 
lasts too long. A German dinner-party has exactly 
the same disadvantage. It is not that so much is 
eaten or drunk, but it never comes to an end. The 
people sit and sit and talk and talk till you would 
think that no human constitution could stand more, 
and as every one uses his natural voice, the confusion 
is sometimes nerve-wracking. Of course the dinner 
is a very Great Event in most famihes, and it is an 
honour to be invited. In fact it is an honour to be 
invited to anything, and that is why Karlsruhe 
hospitahty is usually rather constrained, rather 
formal. The invited knows the grandeur of the occa- 
sion, and is consequently too awed to be at his ease. 

As to the practice of receiving visitors for an 
actual stay, it is the rarest thing of all. As I have 
before intimated, the South German's tendency is to 
let himself go in his own home, and the anxieties and 
efiorts which the presence of a stranger entails 
exhausts him. It is not as though a guest could 
slip in with the rest of the household ; special arrange- 



KARLSRUHE SOCIABILITIES 55 

ments have to be made on his account, and many 
inconveniences sufiered. In North Germany this is 
different ; there the country hfe gives a greater 
freedom and opportunity for hospitahty. In South 
Germany the flat-system and the extreme simpHcity in 
which the German Hves, is in itself a barrier against 
a constant flow of guests, and one can safely say that 
for him the greatest luxury possible is to invite. And 
yet, as I have said, he is sociable. No man on earth 
more so. The EngHshman, in spite of his "open house 
and week-end visits," etc., is a recluse and a hermit 
compared to the Teuton, who is never so happy as 
when he is with other people — in a crowd if possible. 
Whatever he undertakes he hkes to be in company. 
Hence flats and crowded railway carriages have no 
horrors for him ; he detests " Enghsh hotels," because 
Enghsh people do not mix with strangers, prefer 
separate tables, and hold themselves generally aloof. 
His wife and his children are just like him. On their 
travels they are ready to make friends with every one, 
and at home they organise their Kranzchen. Show 
me the German woman or the German Backfische 
who does not belong to a Kranzchen ! If it is the 
Backfisch it can be any sort of a Kranzchen — a 
Tanzkranzchen, an Enghschkranzchen, a Franzosiche- 
kranzchen, a Nahkranzchen. A certain number of 
her school-friends (of the same circle, hien entendu) 
come together once or twice a week and read, sew, 
or talk Enghsh or French together. They take it 
in turns to visit each other's houses, so that in one 
winter each family has had the Kranzchen once. Her 
mother's hfe is built up on the same system. She, 
too, belongs to a Kranzchen. I know quite elderly 



56 MY GERMAN YEAR 

women who regularly, twice a week, read Shakespeare 
together in EngUsh with the assistance of an Enghsh 
teacher. Others, the grandmothers chiefly, play 
whist together, or work together, in fact do anything 
so long as it is together. 

On the other hand, club hfe is almost unknown 
' amongst the masculine element. It is considered 
" bad tone " for a man to go out in the evenings 
without his wife, and the whole rigour and seriousness 
of an Enghsh club would anyhow appal the German's 
cheerful, talkative temperament. To sit for hours in 
dead silence and read the newspapers is a proceeding 
which has no sort of attraction for him. One news- 
paper is enough, and that much he can enjoy in the 
bosom of his family. Curiously enough, the lower 
one goes in the social scale the more one finds 
" societies "" which dimly resemble the club. Every 
Uttle shopkeeper belongs to a Verein. It is usually 
a " Gesangsverein." A few dozen men of the same 
class join together, and once or twice a week meet in 
a Wirtshaus (pubhc-house) and sing — sometimes 
under the direction of a proper teacher. I do not 
think the neighbours care for it, but that is a detail. 
There are, of course, other Vereins for shooting, bowls, 
for the old soldiers, etc., but the idea is always the 
same, mutual support and the pleasure of being 
together for a set purpose, with as little expense as 
possible. 

These Vereins and Kranzchen play a very im- 
portant part in German social hfe, and to a great 
extent take the place of regular entertaining, but 
they do not, strictly speaking, include hospitahty. 
In the Kranzchen, for instance, the members sit 



KARLSRUHE SOCIABILITIES 57 

together for two hours or so and then go away — 
probably without having partaken of any form of 
refreshment. No inhospitahty is meant. They 
arrange to have their tea beforehand, and thus the 
hostess is spared all expense and trouble. I think 
this capacity for Hving, from a social standpoint, 
without material sustenance is proof of the German's 
extreme love of company. If the inevitable cup of 
tea was ignored in England, I am quite sure that 
afternoon calls would droop and languish. In 
England the cup of tea is the raison d'etre of 
the whole performance. So long as she has a cup 
of tea in her hand, so long the EngUsh guest can 
hold out with gossip. Five minutes after she has 
said " No more, thank you,'" she goes. The business 
of the afternoon is over. The German lady is different. 
She comes to talk, to read, or to work, as the case 
may be, and tea would be an interruption and a 
nuisance. The other day we invited a young musician 
for the evening — after supper, of course — ^in order 
that we might play some trios together. I was too 
Enghsh not to insist on some sort of refreshment being 
handed round, so we made the most dehghtful Httle 
sandwiches and cakes. Great indignation on the 
part of our guest as, after the first " movement,'* the 
edibles were handed round. " We are here to 
play — not to eat ! " was his stern protest, and, 
crushed and humbled, I hurried my offerings out of 
sight. 

There is one form of entertainment which must not 
be forgotten where youth is concerned, and that is the 
Tanzerei. Everybody in Germany dances passion- 
ately, if only for the never-to-be-forgotten reason that 



58 MY GERMAN YEAR 

it is an excuse to come together, and consequently 
everybody, rich or poor, endeavours to give a Tanzerei 
at least once a year. A Tanzerei is not a ball, and 
English people would hardly honour it with the title 
of dance. It can take place at any time in the 
afternoon or evening, and there are rarely more than 
eight or ten couples, but of all tj^ical German forms 
of pleasure it is the most dehghtful. Here there is 
no stiffness and f ormahty. The drawing-room carpet 
is rolled up, a piano player engaged, everybody dances 
with everybody without programme, games are 
played — the more childish the better — and the Ger- 
man reveals himself as a charming, unaffected host 
and guest. 

In the well-to-do famihes a Tanzerei is always 
dehghtfully arranged — an elegant ball in miniature 
— ^with a dainty sit-down supper and a profusion 
of flowers ; but perhaps it would be of more interest 
to describe the genuine " Spieszbiirgherliche Tanzerei" 
— the great social effort as made by a family 
of the class which I have abeady designated as 
" educated." 

I was invited to just such an entertainment 
shortly before Christmas. The host was, of course, 
a man with a long title, the hostess a stout, good- 
natured, motherly person with three plain daughters, 
the place of entertainment a far from commodious 
and somewhat stuffy flat of eight rooms. EngHsh 
prople in the same circumstances would not have 
dreamed of giving a dance. They would have 
thought it beneath their dignity to reveal such a 
shabby condition of things. They would have 
saved for years, or got into debt, and hired a hall and 



KARLSRUHE SOCIABILITIES 59 

a caterer, and done the thing in style. They would 

have been ashamed of everything, knowing pretty 

well that their friends would have put the price on 

the wine and the food, and known exactly how much 

the new dress had cost, and whether it was new at 

all, or only a turned and dyed edition of last year's. 

But mine host was not in the least ashamed — he had 

no reason to be. He knew that everybody knew 

who he and what his income was, and that his 

friends, Hving no better or worse themselves, would 

not be critical, but come and enjoy themselves, and 

make the best of everything. And I, knowing what 

I was to expect, did Hkewise. Punctual to the hour 

I clambered up the steep stone steps which led to 

the third floor, in company with other little parties 

of guests, most of whom had come on foot with 

wraps and goloshes. We smiled uncertainly at each 

other as we stood crowded together on the landing, 

and after a moment an excited Httle maid with a 

white cap and apron — for the occasion — opened the 

door, and with grins and nods, as though she were 

joint hostess and dehghted to see us, led the way 

into the bedroom which had been turned into a 

ladies' garde-robe. No doubt it was the eldest 

daughter's bedroom, but everything personal had 

been cleared away, and everything was in immaculate 

order. There was, of course, a great deal of giggling 

and whispering amongst the younger members of 

the party. Everybody was fighting for a last glimpse 

in the Httle looking-glass, and pathetic appeals, 

" Marie, Elsa, is everything all right behind ? " were 

loud, until at last we were ready, and a general 

move was made towards the room. The room was 



60 MY GERMAN YEAR 

the salon, and mine host's study, which had been 
sacrilegiously demolished of its solemnity and turned 
into a second ball-room for the overflow. The carpets 
had disappeared ; stiff plush chairs were arranged 
around the walls; the parquet flooring glistened 
threateningly at unwary feet, and told its tale of a 
long afternoon's polishing, in which — ^who knows ? — 
even the Geheimrat himself might have lent a 
hand. 

A few guests had already arrived, and were stand- 
ing about in little groups. For the most part they 
consisted of young people who, as always in Enghsh 
eyes, looked a good deal older than they really were 
(in Germany a girl is distinctly passee at twenty-five). 
The elder folk had already retired to the chairs, and 
one could see how the cheerful matrons in black 
silk and straining gloves were exchanging compH- 
ments on their respective daughters. With a Httle 
previous experience one could follow every word 
they said. 

" Ach, liebe Frau Professor, how charming 
your Elsa is looking to-night — so much grace and 
Anmut ! And that sweet dress — how it becomes 
her ! I wish I could get something so '' passend " for 
my Marie ! '' 

Tears of gratitude and motherly pride rushed to 
the Frau Professor's bright eyes. I could not see 
them, but I knew they were there, because I know the 
Frau Professor. 

*' She made it herself," she then began to explain 
eagerly. " I cannot tell you how hard the poor child 
worked to get it done in time. Is not the stuff 
wonderful ? It looks like silk, but it isn't. It's a 



KARLSRUHE SOCIABILITIES 61 

new stufi, which looks just hke the real thing, and 
is haK the price/' 

General exclamations of wonder ! It was then 
the Frau Professor's turn to tell her friend how 
"reizend" Marie was, what sweet manners, what grace. 
Everybody was sincerely dehghted with everybody 
else. Everybody was " ein Herz und eine Seele,'' 
as they themselves would have said. I looked about 
me. I picked out the much prized Marie and Elsa, 
and discovered them to be plain, good-natured- 
looking girls in rather short and decidedly home-made 
frocks, modestly decollete. Their masses of heavy, 
somewhat colourless hair was done neatly, but without 
much taste, and they wore white mittens. Alto- 
gether my Enghsh friends would have thought very 
little of them, I am afraid, but they were enjoying 
themselves as though they were kings' daughters 
and wore queens' dresses. The elder and best- 
looking of the three house-daughters was tete-a-tete 
with her fiance, a serious young man, who appeared 
some years older than he really was — perhaps the 
problem of a double menage on nothing a year 
worried him. Mine hostess told me that the Braut 
was nearly ready with her trousseau, and that 
it was very grand indeed. I could quite beheve it, 
since it had been the object of the most careful 
thought for at least two years. Altogether the 
Gehiemratin was in great spirits, and she sailed 
proudly from one httle group to another Hke a 
frigate with every stitch of canvas stretched. 
Her husband, the Geheimrat, was less prominent. 
A shy httle man, in a badly-fitting suit of even- 
ing clothes, he gave the impression of being 



62 MY GERMAN YEAR 

nervously pleased, and much in awe of his wife's 
sang froid. 

At last all the guests had arrived, twelve declared 
dancing couples, and the elderly people who might 
be tempted into a waltz later on in the evening. 
Only one person was still lacking — the Orchestre. 
Then he too arrived — a stout gentleman with a 
bundle of old music under his arm, who; after a 
courteous incHnation towards the rest of the company, 
seated himself at the piano against the wall, and 
plunged boldly into the " Blue Danube/' I must 
mention that the Orchestre is a great person in Karls- 
ruhe. Everybody knows him — he is the patron at 
every feast, rich or poor. In the daytime he gives 
music lessons, in the evening, for the sum of 10 marks, 
he will play you dance music till your feet are worn 
out, beaming the while on the whirHng couples with 
kindly paternal interest. And what feehng there is 
in his waltzes ! No wonder the Geheimrat threw 
ofi his embarrassment, and with a deep bow offered 
his unpractised powers to the Frau Professor, a very 
portly person in mauve, who looked, should any 
accident befall, as though she would inevitably 
crush her cavaHer out of all recognition. But 
fortunately the Geheimrat had a good eye and a firm 
arm. He steered round the httle room with complete 
success, and the ball thus opened proceeded merrily. 
As usual there were three or four superfluous men, 
passionately fond of dancing and equally anxious 
to have their turn, so that there was no rest, no 
sitting-out (sitting-out in any form is absolutely 
tabooed everywhere). One or two of them danced 
very well, the greater part moderately, one or two 



KARLSRUHE SOCIABILITIES 63 

skirt-rendingly, but well or ill they all danced. 
There were no laggards, and they bumped or piloted 
their partners round the crowded room with equal 
cheerfulness. And their manners were exquisite. 
Yes, it is not to be denied that their coats were far 
from being well cut, their shoes not aU above criticism, 
their whole appearance neither elegant not distinguey 
but they had a kindly honest courtesy about them 
which atoned — obht^rated — everything else. They 
did not dance as though it were a favour, or wander 
about with their hands in their pockets looking 
intensely bored. They did not leave the conversa- 
tion to their partners, and answer in sulky mono- 
syllables. They appeared grateful for attention, 
and did their uttermost to be enterta,ining. I 
noticed this latter feature at the supper-hour, when, 
on the arm of a young architect, I was led into the 
dining-room. Truth to tell there was httle of the 
dining-room left. It was aU table, with just enough 
room at the sides and end for the chairs and the people 
who were to sit on them. But what did it matter 
if there was scarcely room for one's elbows ? We 
were all in such good spirits that the constant 
apologies to one's neighbour only added to the 
general hilarity. Thus we began the feast. It was 
a very simple affair. Cold meat, ham, and sausage 
(alas ! I am fallen so low that I have a shamefaced 
liking for German sausage, which is made of gee-gee 
and bow-wow, as every Englishman knows !) with 
Italian salade came first, followed by cheese and 
Pumpernickel, the whole accompanied by bottles of 
wholesome, if somewhat sour, landwine. All through 
this repast my young architect never stopped talking 



64 MY GERMAN YEAR 

— ^in fact everybody talked, and as loud as they 
possibly could, so that it was difficult to hear your 
own voice. But my companion had good lungs, and 
somehow or other kept me thoroughly entertained. 
At last, after all the necessary toasts had been given, 
we returned to the " ballroom, "" and the fun continued 
until one o'clock, with intervals for lemonade and 
beer, handed round by our earher acquaintance, the 
excited maid-of-all-work, who, in spite of fatigue, 
was still as cheerful and smihng as ever. We danced 
the lancers with stately gravity, the minuet- waltz 
with grace, the Frangaise with a truly wonderful 
" go,"" but at no time did we descend to romping. 
Everything retained a certain stamp of decorum and 
good order. After midnight signs of fatigue made 
themselves manifest ; the air had become distinctly 
" dry,"" and the dancing had been kept up with 
such vigour that everybody was beginning to think 
of the home j ourney . A last waltz was ordered. The 
Orchestre poured forth a pot-pourri from his whole 
repertoire, and one danced with everybody in turn. 
Then the piano's tone grew softer and slower, a last 
trill, a last run, a general sigh, half of exhasution, 
half of regret, that one cannot partake even of good 
things for ever, and the Great Evening was at an 
end. Of course there was the inevitable standing 
about and talking ; congratulations pour in from every 
side, and I, having long since learnt my lesson, was 
not backward in my expressions of gratitude and 
admiration. Consequently my kind hosts and I 
parted on the best of terms, and I wended my way 
homewards with the satisfaction of knowing that it 
had been a ** typical German evening." 



KARLSRUHE SOCIABILITIES 65 

Do not, I beg, look contemptuous and say, " I 
told you so ! That is just the sort of third-rate 
uncouth sort of entertainment I should imagine the 
Germans enjoying." It is, as a matter of fact, typical 
of one class, but there are other classes and other 
entertainments which would no doubt surprise you. 
Moreover, I must remind you that my Geheimrat is 
poor. He may be well-to-do in his own eyes, because 
he has neither pretension nor vanity, but you would 
catalogue him as poor, especially considering the 
price of Hving in Karlsruhe. Thus, if he were what 
you would call refined, he would not be able to enter- 
tain at all, and would have to Hve in a misreable state 
of sohtude. And sohtude is the one thing he cannot 
stand, so he entertains, and does it in the only way 
his means and his consideration for the future allow 
him. No doubt it is a very inelegant bourgeois way, 
but then he is bourgeois — " spieszbiirhgerhch,"" as 
he is described by his own countrymen — and it is 
quit^. good enough for his tastes and the taste of his 
friends. Moreover, there is something so harmless 
and natural and friendly in the whole thing, that 
unless one is bhnded by prejudice and snobbery of 
the worst type, it is impossible not to feel warmly 
towards the host and lenient towards the feast. I 
am not even sure that there is not an atmosphere 
in those httle evenings which is healthier, saner, 
more human, more genuine, more promising, than 
in the grandest liondon functions, and I make no 
pretence at jeering at the fashions of the simple 
Geheimrat and his simpler Geheimratin. They lead 
the simple Hfe because they are simple, and they are 
such elemental folk, so unpretentious and natural, 
5 



66 MY GERMAN YEAR 

that one can see straight through to their hearts, 
which are above all else honest and kind. For my 
part that is all that matters, and he who can afford 
to jeer at the dowdy clothes and the beer and the 
sausage has my sincere sympathy ! 



CHAPTER VI 



CHRISTMAS 



GERMANY without Christmas — or better — 
Christmas without Germany ! For me the 
one state is as unthinkable as the other. After 
comparing my experiences, I can but come to the 
conclusion that there is no country in the world 
where Christmas flourishes with so much of its old 
truth, so much of its own true feeling — in fact, where 
Christmas is so intensely " Christmasy,"" as in the 
Fatherland. I do not want to hurt anybody's 
feehngs with this statement, and I must at once 
admit that my experience is not very wide. It ex- 
tends only over England, France, Belgium, and Italy, 
and I have no doubt that, for instance, the Yankees 
make the season an occasion for great magnificence, 
the Russians for pomp and ceremonial, and so 
throughout the whole Christian world, each land 
imprinting its own national characteristics upon the 
festival. 

I am afraid my recollections of an EngHsh Christ- 
mas are rather dull. The one real joy was the 
Christmas shopping, but the day itself was Hke a 
glorified Sunday, on which one ate a good deal more 
than was good for one, and had to maintain through 
plum-pudding and every other similar evil an appear- 



67 



68 MY GERMAN YEAR 

ance of unabated cheerfulness. In my childhood, I 
beheve, the matter was better ; there was the thrill- 
ing excitement of the stocking which kept up a genuine 
animation until after breakfast, but then things 
fell rather flat — it was impossible to get away from 
the feehng that it was Sunday. In Rome my feehngs 
were entirely different. Strange as it may sound in 
this stronghold of early Christianity, in spite of pomp 
and ceremonial, Christmas itself seemed absolutely 
out of its element. I could imagine it as a lonely, 
unhappy spirit wandering amongst a crowd of 
strangers, who, whilst loading it with beautiful and 
precious gems, neither understood its heart or its 
language. Where I was staying the people had 
erected a magnificent Christmas tree, and covered 
it with gHttering decorations of every description, 
but — somehow it was not a real Christmas tree, any 
more than the Christmas itself was real. It was a 
transplanted thing, artificially kept ahve in a foregin 
soil. Perhaps the very pomp of it all stood in the 
way, for I always think of the Christmas Spirit as a 
simple little child, who would be very happy to sing 
carols beside a tiny shrub in some poor German garret, 
but would shrink back involuntarily from the offer 
of gems and rich incense. And it is that childish, 
open-hearted simphcity which, so it seems to me, 
makes Christmas essentially German, or at any rate 
explains why it is that nowhere else in the world 
does it find so pure an expression. The German is 
himself simple, warm-hearted, unpretentious, with 
something at the bottom of him which is childlike 
in the best sense. He is the last " Naturmensch *' 
in civilisation, and the Naturmensch is always naive, 



CHRISTMAS 69 

always single-minded, whether for good or evil. There 
are fewer problems in his character, fewer dark, 
mysterious places, fewer Machiavelhan twists and 
tm^nings ; his heart is easily stirred, easily moved 
to respond to the touch of all that is sincerely, truly 
human. With such a man the " Christkind "' can 
be itself without make-beheve and artifice — ^it can 
display its humblest attributes, which are its noblest, 
and know that he will understand, that he will 
treasure it the more because it was born in a poor 
manger, and carries no richer gift in its feeble hands 
than an all-embracing love. Yes, all that is something 
for the German " Gemiit I" It suits the German 
as well as a play suits an actor for whose character 
and temperament it has been especially written. 
He revels in it, and I really beHeve that the German 
Atheist " understands " the Spirit of Christmas 
better than hundreds of good Christians from other 
lands. Perhaps the atmosphere helps. Perhaps the 
crisp north winds blowing over the Black Forest, 
where the fir-tree bears its burden of virgin snow, 
waiting for the hour when it shall be called thence 
to decorate some human home, carries with it a 
mysterious perfume, a mysterious something which 
I cannot describe, but which I feel and understand. 
Perhaps the knowledge that all those around me 
feel it and understand it as I do makes its power all 
the greater. It seems to bring us all, rich and poor, 
friend and foe, into a wonderful communion which 
we cannot and will not resist. 

I write this whilst the snow is still on the ground, 
and I can still feel vibrations from the emotion 
which the great evening stirs to life in most German 



70 MY GERMAN YEAR 

hearts. That sounds as though only German hearts 
could experience it, but as I am EngHsh the contra- 
diction is obvious. I merely mean that there is 
something in the atmosphere, and that whereas in 
Eagland Christmas was for me a much over-rated 
festivity, it has become a time of real deep rejoicing 
to which I look back with tenderness, to which I 
look forward with hope. 

So much for the " Stimmung "" — or at least so 
much as the reader no doubt cares to hear about 
it, for personally I could go on for ever with my 
efforts to describe what is indescribable. Neverthe- 
less, as I fear the word " Stimmung "" may reoccur 
often in this chapter and elsewhere, I will hasten to 
explain for the benefit of those who have not been 
initiated into the mysteries of that great and un- 
translatable German word, that it means the " some- 
thing '' which can unite an immense assembly of 
strangers in one bond of enthusiasm, of joy, or of 
sorrow. It is the longed-for guest at all festivities, 
the silent companion in every hour of general mourn- 
ing and at Christmas — why, at Christmas it is 
everything, ever5rvvhere. It hovers in the streets, 
in the gay shop windows, over the Christmas-tree — 
it follows the Christkind wheresoever it goes, and 
without it Christmas would be no more than a cold 
and dreary spectre. 

And now for facts, and I would that the mysterious 
Spirit which I have endeavoured to describe would 
guide my pen and help me to touch them with the 
charm which they possess for those who know a 
German Christmas ! To begin with, I must mention 
a peculiarity which, I believe, is Karlsruhe's very 



CHRISTMAS 71 

own. As a rule extremely indifferent to fashion, 
which it follows — so the bitter saying goes — some 
ten years after, it is yet very attentive to seasons. 
Carnival is signalled immediately after Christmas 
by the appearance of fancy dresses and masks in 
the shop windows ; on Ash Wednesday everything 
pertaining to such frivoHty is bundled out of sight, 
and one sees the most unhkely objects labelled as 
suitable presents for confirmation candidates; after 
that comes Easter with its eggs, and Easter hares 
in every conceivable form of eatable stuffs, more or 
less dangerous for the human constitution. In 
summer there is a lull, during which the shopkeeper 
seems to lose interest in hfe, but from October on- 
wards one notices a shght stir. HaK-shamefaced 
indications are to be observed which are intended 
to remind the passer-by that the hour is not far off 
when he must be prepared to open his purse as wide 
as it will stretch. And then, lo and behold ! we have 
scarce passed into drear November when bold notices 
bearing " Weihnachtsgeschenke "" in fancy letters, 
with holly and icicles for ornamentation, appear in 
the shop-windows, and skates dangHng in long rows 
are marked for the benefit of the ignorant shopper 
as " seasonable."" Few people buy anything save 
perhaps those with relations in far-off countries, 
and the shopkeeper remains fairly unobtrusive with 
his suggestions, but Christmas is already in the air. 
Three Sundays before the day the signal is given, 
not only in Karlsruhe, but all over Germany. It is 
the so-called Copper Sunday, when all the shops are 
left open so that the poor folk from the country, 
bound all the week by their business, may also come 



72 MY GERMAN YEAR 

and take their share in the general present- 
buying. 

The title " Copper "" is derived from the merchants^ 
expectations and reaUsations, which, on the first of 
the three Sundays, are not very great. For the 
country people share the common human faihng of 
" putting things off," and, knowing that they have 
time enough before them, they let the first oppor- 
tunity shp past. But the next Sunday shows an 
improvement ; the streets are more crowded, there 
is an increased hustle and bustle ; here and there one 
sees an old Black Forest peasant with his long black 
cloak flapping about his knees, his red waistcoat, his 
flat felt hat, and the inevitable umbrella. His wife 
walks sedately at his side, her costume answering to 
the locahty from which she comes, but usually with 
the quaint wing-shaped head-dress of broad stiff silk. 
The bulk of the crowd, however, is composed of the 
population from the neighbouring villages, all in their 
best clothes. Everybody comes ; grandparents, 
husband and wife, children of all sizes and ages, 
young men with their " Schatz,"" all eager to buy 
and get rid of their hard-earned savings as fast as 
they can. And the shopkeeper washes his hands in 
invisible soap, and beams. It is the Silver Sunday ! 
In the week that follows the excitement scarcely 
abates, for the Karlsruher, who on Sunday yields 
place to the visitors, has much to do to make up 
for lost time. At last ! The Golden Sunday is 
there ! Well may the eager, exhausted, but always 
cheerful, always wilUng servers rush from one customer 
to another, trying to do each and all justice. They 
are great men in their profession, these servers I 



CHRISTMAS 73 

They know their people — " Sie kennen ihre Leute ! "' 
They do not say, " What may you wish to buy ? '" 
when the countryman with his family march stoUdly 
into the shop. They know that such a question 
would throw him iato the greatest possible confusion. 
They pick up the nearest object at hand and hold it 
out to him as though it were an art-treasure. " This is 
just the thing you are looking for ! "" they exclaim 
triumphantly. " Just see how elegant, how beautiful, 
how useful, how cheap ! It is the latest fashion. 
We have sold hundreds. I am sure it is exactly 
what you wanted. "" And of course it is just the 
thing he wanted, and he is most grateful that the 
fact has been pointed out to him. He goes ofi with 
his treasure, and the shopkeeper beams upon his 
subordinate who has thus adroitly exploded one more 
damp firework. This procedure occurs chiefly in 
the so-called " cheap shops," where you can buy 
everything in a small way that the ordinary human 
requires ; but it is altogether rather characteristic of 
the Karlsruher salesman, who treats his customers as 
though they were only partly responsible for their 
actions, and not to be too much humoured as regards 
their tastes and wishes. At any rate, thus the eager 
shopping goes on, and as the time draws nearer a 
veritable emigration to the station adds to the 
general bustle. Everybody who does not belong to 
Karlsruhe is en route for home. Officers in civihan 
clothes — rare sight ! — and soldiers in their very 
newest uniforms, with quaint httle bundles and the 
cone-shaped cases with the helmet which is to cause 
thrills in the hearts of the village maidens on Sunday 
— such are the chief elements in the great exodus. 



74 MY GERMAN YEAR 

And at length the evening arrives ! One would be 
incHned to think, judging by a last glance at the 
streets, that every one had left their shopping to the 
last moment. The bustle, if anything, has increased, 
although the hour of the " Besherung "" (present- 
giving) is almost at hand. And indeed it is surpris- 
ing what a lot of httle odds and ends crop up which 
have hitherto been overlooked. Perhaps the star 
at the top of the tree has broken and a new one has 
to be bought in all haste, or the candles have run out 
or the tinsel has proved too tarnished, thanks to its 
annual use. So some energetic soul rushes out at the 
last moment to make the necessary purchases. I 
need hardly mention that all over Germany Christmas 
Eve, and not Christmas Day, is the great time. 
Christmas Day is more or less a church festivity, and, 
except that the present-giving is over, is quite 
English. For my part I like the evening ceremony 
best. In the early morning you feel cold and sleepy 
— " niichtern,"" as the Germans would say — and you 
have scarcely time to enjoy yourself before the hour 
of church is at hand, and the " Stimmung "" is 
abruptly broken, or at any rate turned in another 
direction. But on Christmas Eve the good spirits 
may mount from degree to degree without check or 
hindrance. The early morning indifference melts ; 
by the afternoon you have begun to remark that 
you are just " in the mood " for Christmas ; by six 
o'clock the sight of the gay shops and the bright 
faces has warmed you to a glow of excitement in 
which there is mingled a soft-hearted, and, alas ! 
all too ephemeral tenderness towards your fellow- 
creatures. Seven o'clock marks the high tide. Let me 



CHRISTMAS 75 

suppose that you are one of the mysterious workers 
who for days past has been rushing to the door to 
intercept letters and parcels, and hold back inquisitive 
and hopeful people who are desperately anxious to 
know if the yellow " Gepackwagen '' has not brought 
them something. Your post has proved no sinecure. 
Apart from the difficulty of trying to answer questions 
without telling the truth, and without telHng a he, 
there is some genuinely hard work connected with 
the preparations. Imagine a magnificent green 
fir-tree some ten or eleven feet high, with branches 
numerous and broad in proportion, and imagine 
that it must be decked from head to foot with every 
conceivable ornament, with candles, tinsel, wax 
angels, glistening balls, glass icicles, and frost-covered 
acorns. Everybody, of course, has his own ideas 
of decoration, but the general rule is the brighter and 
gayer the better. What a work it is ! Even when the 
hero of the evening is crowned with the triumphant 
golden star, there is still much to be done. The 
presents have to be arranged — rarely on the tree 
itself, for in our magnificent days the fir-tree's sturdy 
arms would not be strong enough to support the 
burden — but on tables, each member of the family 
having his own. All through the day the room in 
which the great ceremony is to take place is rigorously 
shut off ; but at seven o'clock the folding doors are 
thrown open, and an eager, impatient crowd of old 
and young swarm through with many " oh's '' and 
" ah's " of admiration. And indeed our green friend 
is a magnificent sight. All the hghts have been 
turned out, and only the candles affixed to the broad 
branches have been left to throw their cheery reflec- 



76 MY GERMAN YEAR 

tions on the faces which cluster round. One of the 
twigs has caught fire, and there is a dehcious indescrib- 
able " Tannenduft/' which, if you shut your eyes, 
transports you far away into the heart of the great 
forest, and further still — back to all the Christmases 
you have hidden in your memory. But there is no 
time for fancies or recollections. The reality and 
the present are all-powerful, and you must take your 
part in the general uproar. Everybody is dehghted, 
everybody — ^in true German fashion — declares that 
it is the finest tree they have ever seen, that it has 
been decorated as no tree was ever decorated before, 
and you, the worker, stand proudly by, an object 
of gratitude and profound admiration. Only a short 
moment is given to the proud fir-tree. Already eager 
eyes are wandering round the room in search of the 
table, longing for the moment when all mysteries 
shall be swept away. But in Germany you must 
be patient — or rather you must allow yourself to be 
worked up to the highest pitch of excitement by 
endless procrastinations and delays. No one must 
touch or even study his table until the time-honoured 
carols have been sung. So the musical member of 
the family is hurried to the piano, and the rest 
crowd round and join lustily in the favourite " Oh, 
Tannenbaum, oh, Tannenbaum, wie griin sind 
deine Blatter V or " Stille Nacht, heihge Nacht,'' 
until human nature can bear no more. Then the 
signal is given — a general sigh of reUef, a general 
rush ! The rest I need not describe to you. In 
the confusion of flying paper, bursting strings, 
exclamations, congratulations, and thanks there 
is nothing very national — except perhaps in 



CHRISTMAS 77 

the last item, which is, of course, Teutonically 
exuberant. 

So an hour passes, and then dinner is announced 
amidst sounds of satisfaction, for unless you are one 
of the impatient spirits who has not been able to 
resist the temptings of the edible gifts, you have an 
excellent appetite. The meal is not a very big one, 
however, most people prefering to keep the great 
feast for the following day, and perhaps it is just as 
well, for I doubt if the Stimmung would stand the 
strain of a genuine Christmas dinner — I am convinced 
that it would get decidedly sleepy. As it is, everybody 
remains in the best of spirits, and after the usual 
toasts have been given the confusion in the fir-tree's 
Throne-Room is cleared away and games are played. 
If there are children, so much the better. If not, the 
old people become children for the occasion. Nothing 
is too young or too foolish, and I am not sure if the 
old children are not the most foolish of all. In the 
midst of the uproar the door opens mysteriously, 
just wide enough to admit a huge parcel, which falls 
like a bomb in the more or less surprised assembly. 
The unseen anarchist closes the door, the packet is 
seized upon, and the name of the addressee read aloud. 
The receiver opens his parcel disgustedly, for he is 
German, and knows what awaits him. The first 
layer of paper reveals a second address, and thus the 
parcel passes from hand to hand, growing smaller with 
each change, so that at the end nothing remains but a 
tiny Httle box, which at last reaches the right owner. 
Let him beware ! Let him remember his sins, his 
weaknesses, his dearest Httle peccadillo, and be 
prepared to find them laid bare before the world in 



78 MY GERMAN YEAR 

doggerel rhyme, accompanied by some appropriate 
" present/' Has the Backfisch with the two mag- 
nificent braids and the red cheeks been coquetting 
with the yomig ensign from the Grenadiers ? Her 
gift may be a tin soldier wrapped in a high-flown poem 
such as Backfisch love. Has the poor EngHsh 
innocent been guilty of some frightful, humihating 
error in the German tongue? Be sure that it has 
been treasured up throughout the year for this 
occasion, and that the wit of the family has exerted 
his powers to the uttermost to bring it home to the 
victim. Such is the Jul-Klap, one of the oldest 
German customs dating far back into the heathen 
days, when it had no doubt some other and long- 
forgotten meaning. 

This ceremony over, the games are resumed, until 
the family, exhausted but extremely happy, gathers 
up its treasures and retires to bed, leaving the patron 
fir-tree, whose candles have long since sputtered out, 
to silence and darkness. Such, then, is Christmas 
Eve, so it is in modified or glorified degree in every 
home in Germany, from the Emperor's palace to 
the peasant's hut. Pay a visit to the market-place 
a few days before Christmas, and you will see that it 
is not only the well-to-do who stand in anxious 
discussion before the forest of fir-trees which await 
purchasers. There is, for instance, that poor old 
woman, thinly clothed with a shawl over her grey 
hair, bearing off a tiny shrub with such pride and 
love that one would think she had won the King 
of the Black Forest. Probably she will not have 
enough to eat on Christmas Eve, unless some kind 
soul takes pity on her, but at least she has her tree, 



CHRISTMAS 79 

and when the great hour arrives she will hght the two 
pale candles and stand before the glory of it all with 
the glad knowledge that even she is not shut out 
from the universal rejoicings. Or, if you will, take 
a walk through the streets before your own festivities 
begin and look into the Hghted windows. Everjrwhere 
you will see the same picture. Everywhere, in garret 
and in palace, the world is paying homage to the 
green-king of Christmas time. It is not, as it is 
growing to be with us, an essentially children's 
festival, though I wish every EngHsh child at least 
one German Christmas, if only for the sake of the 
unrivalled toys; it is Everybody's Festival, as it 
was surely meant to be, and it does not matter how 
old or how poor or how lonely you are — you must 
take part. But it is difficult to be old at such a 
time, and still more difficult to be lonely. If you have 
no family of your own, some other family is sure to 
hold out welcoming arms, unless, of course, you are 
a second Scrooge. On the whole, however, guests 
are very seldom seen in the circle, because no German 
would dream of wilHngly absenting himself from 
his own hearth. It is the one fixed time in the year 
when, whether from far or near, the various members 
of the family assemble together under the paternal 
roof, and he who stays away is accounted heartless 
and indifferent. Thus, unless your own family is in 
itself large, you must be prepared to spend your 
festivity in a small circle, for guests are decidedly 
rare. Perhaps a stray officer, left in command over 
the hohdays, or some homeless exile whose people 
are far away over the seas, will come and assist 
your merriment, but one cannot count on them. It 



80 MY GERMAN YEAR 

once happened that my German friend and I were 
left soHtary through unforeseen circumstances, but 
we did not let that spoil our Christmas. Quite the 
contrary. We took the greatest pains with our 
ten-foot tree, prepared each other's tables, and sang 
carols (with rather curious accompaniments, for, 
alas ! we are neither piano virtuosi), and to reward 
our efforts the Christmas Stimmung did not in the 
least fail us. I am afraid that, had I been left to 
myself, I should have been content to leave my 
Christmas to the cook, and let the rest of the cere- 
monial go as " not worth while,'' but the German spirit 
was unconquerable, and not a detail was neglected. 

As to Christmas Day there is not much to be 
said. At nine-thirty one goes to church for the 
service which begins at ten, and one can be thankful 
to find breathing room. For the Germans — even if 
they have not been in church the whole year — always 
put in an appearance at Christmas and Easter, with 
the result that unless one goes early it is impossible 
to find a place. After church comes the great 
dinner — sometimes enhvened with an English plum- 
pudding — to which guests are invited, and which, 
if it is thoroughly German, will last hours. As I 
have remarked before, it is not that so much is eaten, 
but the Teuton has the failing of never knowing 
when to bring a social gathering to an end. When he 
once starts enjoying himself he goes on until he 
drops with exhaustion. Thus we can leave Christmas 
Day at this point, knowing that the dinner is 
the chief event, which will last so long that every- 
body is incapacitated and incapable of any further 
efEort. 



CHRISTMAS 81 

On the second Christmas Day, as it is called, 
people flock in their best clothes to the Hof- 
theater where a " Festopera "" is being given — 
usually " Lohengrin '" or the " Meistersingers/' The 
week that follows depends greatly on the weather 
and on individual tastes. Crowds pour up into the 
Black Forest, where, if it is a genuine Christmas, the 
snow is already thick and firm. Skiing, bob-sleigh- 
ing, skating is then the order of the day, until the 
all-too-short hoHdays are at an end. I am convinced 
the English schoolboy would be speechless with 
indignation over these hohdays ! A fortnight is the 
extreme Kmit, and given only to boarding-schools 
whose inmates have long distances to go to reach 
their homes. The other educational institutions 
have rarely more than ten days, and sometimes less. 
From the 23rd of December to the 2nd of January 
is the usual thing. Hence by Sylvester Abend — 
New Year's Eve — the joys of freedom are nearly 
over, and there is a last grand festivity which serves 
the double purpose of welcoming the New Year and 
adding a crowning if farewell touch to the great ten 
days. As in France, the New Year is a more im- 
portant time than with us. True, no presents are 
given except to the tradespeople, who receive their 
" New Year boxes," but cards are far more numerous 
than at Christmas, and as guests can be invited, it is 
possible to organise the festivity on bigger hues. 
Thus dances or dinner-parties help to wile away the 
hours to midnight. As the magic hour approaches, 
the Christmas tree, which still reigns in the drawing- 
room, is hghted for the last time, and the "Bleigieszen" 
is begun. This ceremony consists of boiling specially 
6 



82 MY GERMAN YEAR 

prepared pieces of lead in a spoon over a candle ; 
each guest takes his spoonful and throws it quickly 
into the basin of water which is held ready. Accord- 
ing to the form which the lead takes so will his fortune 
be in the coming year. Sometimes the shapes are 
absolutely " impossible," though there is always some 
hopeful spirit in the company who professes to see a 
resemblance to some object or another. At any rate, 
the smallest resemblance is sufficient, and ships 
(which indicate a journey), or hearts (which have, of 
course, only one meaning), or some other equally 
significant shape is usually discerned. In the middle 
of this fortune-telhng the clock strikes, a general 
cry of " Prosit Neu Jahr ! "" a general shaking of 
hands, and, if it can be afforded, champagne flows — in 
moderate quantities. Outside on the streets the 
cry of " Prosit Neu Jahr ! "" is echoed from corner 
to corner, one hears the crack of forbidden fireworks 
and the clash of bells. Slyvester Abend is at an end, 
and if one is sober-minded and eager to begin the 
New Year in the right spirit, one goes to bed — if 
not, well, one dances till the early hours are past, 
with the motto — 

" Drink and be merry» for to-morrow we — work ! " 

Thus the fir-tree's reign is over ; it is packed 
ignominiously in the garret or planted in the garden, 
and forgotten until it is too wretched an object to 
be tolerated longer. What does it matter ? Next 
year there will be another and perhaps a finer one — 
at least we are sure to think it finer — and with it 
will come another Happy German Christmas. For 
the German Christmas is really happy — there is no 



CHRISTMAS 83 

make-beKeve about it. It is the reality of what we 
call a " good old Enghsh Christmas " — a fable of times 
long past or never existent, whose only memento is to 
be found on the Christmas cards with their holly 
and mistletoe, and coaches driving through the snow, 
and brimming bumpers. I fear we are losing the 
Spirit of Christmas — Dickens' legacy. Perhaps we 
have frightened it away with our fine culture and 
superabundance of wealth and luxury — but it is not 
dead. It has taken up its home in the simple German 
hearts, whose warmth and sincerity have kept it 
aUve, and will keep it ahve, until the sad time comes 
when they too will forget to be simple. 



CHAPTEB VII 



THE STUDENTS AND THE EMPEROR's BIRTHDAY 



IT seems to me, on reviewing my German year, 
that the winter season is the one most full 
of events. Scene after scene crowds before my 
mind's eye, and no sooner is Christmas relegated to 
the past than the Emperor's Birthday, with its 
festivities, civil and mihtary, arrives to break the 
monotony of peaceful days. There is no town or 
village, even here in South Germany, where the 
Imperial spirit is less deeply rooted, which does not 
celebrate the occasion with flags and bunting and fes- 
tive clothes, and, above all, festive meals. The bour- 
geois element in the larger towns enjoys ponderous 
banquets and deHvers ponderous if patriotic speches ; 
the mihtary parades in gala uniform, dances at the 
Kaiser Ball, and is generally very much en evidence ; 
the Court attends the opera, where three cheers are 
called for His Imperial Majesty ; and the students, 
here as everywhere, and as in everything, go about 
their celebrations in their own pecuhar way. To un- 
derstand their " way " — in fact, to understand them 
at all — one must not be satisfied with the superficial 
consideration which most foreigners bestow upon 
them. One must not be satisfied with a mere glance 
at the outside of things, or allow one's judgment to 



THE EMPEROR'S BIRTHDAY 85 

be swayed by the unreliable literary efforts of the 
traveller who has neither taken the time or trouble 
to enter into the spirit of an institution which he 
does not hesitate to criticise and condemn. Let us, 
therefore, sweep out of our minds the picture of 
the German student which Enghsh people usually 
accept as genuine. The fat, ungainly, lazy, stupid 
beer-drinker no doubt exists, but he is no more 
typical than, I hope, were the drunken soldiers 
whom I had the humiUation of observing as they 
reeled over a certain Enghsh station. The typical 
German Corps student is in the first place a gentleman; 
he Hves and acts as such, and though theoretically 
free, he is bound by self-made laws which are severer 
than any of those governing our own universities. I 
emphasise Corfs student, because there are all sorts 
and conditions of students, and the difference in 
class can be as great as that between an engine- 
driver and a count's son. This is especially the case 
in a town hke Karlsruhe, where there is a Polytechni- 
cum or Hochschule for the study of practical sciences. 
In a university, as in Heidelberg, the differences are 
not so marked, though the elements are often very 
questionable, as is inevitable where the expenses are 
so low and social position of so Kttle account. 
Practically any one can be a student, but not every 
one can be a Corps student. 

There is a legend that once upon a time four 
Germans were wrecked together on a desert island. 
The first thing they did before even attempting to 
dry themselves was to form a '* Verein " (a society 
or union). After a few days they quarrelled, the 
Verein spht up into two Vereins, which, so the legend 



S6 MY GERMAN YEAR 

goes, are quarrelKng with each other to this day. 
The story is very characteristic, and explains the 
whole student system, which is founded on the 
German's love of fighting, his sociability, and his 
intense dishke for independence in so far that it 
entails lonehness. Every German, rich or poor, 
V belongs to a Verein. If he is musical he belongs to 
a Gesangsverein ; if he is a soldier he is a member of 
the Kriegsverein ; if a sportsman to Schutzenverein ; 
and so on ad nauseam. The student is the example 
for the rule. He cannot hve alone. He found the 
fact out generations ago when the Corps were first 
founded. This took place at the beginning of the 
seventeenth century, when the students at the uni- 
versities divided themselves according to their 
various nationalities into what was then called 
" Landmannshaften,"" wearing, after they had been 
officially recognised, distinguishing caps and colours. 
From these Landmannshaften have arisen the Corps, 
which fundamentally are the same, though the mem- 
bers are no longer recruited from the same State. Thus 
the Corps Bavaria may be compsoed entirely of 
north Germans, and here and there an entire foreigner 
is admitted into the circle. But the original laws 
exist almost unchanged, and they enclose the student 
in a seK-governing world of his own. 

It must not be imagined that a Corps is a kind of 
schoolboy cHque. The Corps are under a regular 
government — the University Corps under what is 
called the Kosener Senioren Convent, the Poly- 
technicum Corps under the Weinheimer Senioren 
Convent. No new Corps can be founded without 
the consent of these Convents, no law changed or 



^ 



THE EMPEROR'S BIRTHDAY 87 

inaugurated, and in the event of the death, marriage, 
or expulsion of a member they must immediately be 
informed. Thus the happy being who believes that 
this student's world is a place of Hberty and Hcence, 
is as much deceived as the student himself when he 
triumphantly sings, " Frei ist der Bursch ! " The 
government of the Corps is indeed so absolute, the 
laws so rigid and numerous, the punishment of offences 
so severe, that it is to be wondered at that young men 
who have just thrown off school discipHne should 
wilHngly accept the new and often heavier yoke. 
This severe disciphne, together with the considerable 
expenses connected with the Corps life, is the reason 
why the Corps are gradually diminishing, and the 
mass of the Wilden (the name given to the students 
who belong to neither Corps or Burschenshaften) 
increasing. Still, even to-day, a father, if his purse 
allows it, will always endeavour to get his son 
received into a good Corps. He knows very well 
that the advantages outweigh the disadvantages of 
wasted time and money. In the first place, he has 
the assurance that his son can only mix with young 
fellows of his own position (a Corps is as particular as 
to the " Circles "" in which its members associate as 
a careful mother with her daughters) ; he will be 
watched over by men older than himself, and kept 
from gambhng and every other form of vice ; he will 
be taught self-control, and in af ter-Hf e he will have the 
support not only of those whom he knew as student 
but of all the older members of his Corps ("alteHerrn"), 
usually men of considerable wealth and position. 
Thus, for instance, a young architect or engineer, who 
through no fault of his own falls on evil days, need 



88 MY GERMAN YEAR 

only apply to an old Corps student who is at the 
head of some big business to be sure of getting an 
excellent berth, with the prospect of a rapid advance- 
ment. All these advantages are very real, and are 
fully worth the sacrifices of time, money, and inde- 
pendence which must be brought. The money is, 
without doubt, a serious item. To exist comfortably 
in a good Corps a student must have an allowance 
of at least £250 a year, and if possible more, and this 
sum is all the heavier because during the time that 
he is an active member work plays only a small part 
in his programme. Not that he leads an idle life, 
but the Corps makes so many demands upon his 
energies that only the most industrious can attend 
lectures or study privately. But the time is after 
all a short one. At the end of his fourth term the 
Corps student usually retires into private life as 
" inactive," and only appears at great ceremonies — 
very often he goes to another university to avoid 
the temptations of the old hfe. At any rate he 
becomes a worker, and in a sense which would make 
most English young men open their eyes. Consider- 
ing how hard the German schoolboy has to work, 
and how hard the men must work in after hfe, the 
student cannot be grudged the short respite in which 
to enjoy his youth. And he does enjoy it — ^not in 
excesses as the heavy allowance would suggest. 
The £250-£300 is spent for a great part in assisting 
to bear the expenses of the Corps, whose members 
are often so limited in number that the share of the 
burden can be very serious. Most good Corps have 
their own houses, some even their own motors and 
carriages. The houses are sometimes extremely 



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c c e « *c e 

c c c c « c c 

c c c c e < 



c c 



c c c c c 

C C C € 







A students' COKI'S-HOUSE. 



*0 



THE EMPEROR'S BIRTHDAY 89 

fine buildings, built by subscription, in which the 
** alte Herrn " take a lion's share. From the outside 
they look like the private residences of the wealthy, 
but inside they are arranged to meet the special 
requirements of the Corps Hfe. The furniture and 
fittings are handsome and tasteful. The entrance- 
hall — I am, of course, merely taking an example — 
is lined with dark oak, the walls covered with emblems 
and trophies from every part of the world ; duelling 
sabres and the flags of the Corps and of its sister- 
Corps form the chief ornaments, which are never 
tawdry. There is a large " Kneipzimmer '' (the 
room where the Kneipen or meetings are held), a 
Hbrary which a professor might envy, a casino for 
quiet evenings, and one or two odd rooms useful at 
festive times. In very few cases do the students 
make use of their houses as actual places of residence. 
Each has his private lodging, though they usually 
dine together at a specified restaurant. Only the 
most exclusive — and the practice is not looked upon 
with approval — keep their own cook and actually 
Hve in the Corps House. As a rule, the all-important 
Corpsdiener (servant) and his wife are left in charge, 
and see that everything is kept in perfect order. 

Besides the expense of keeping up this establish- 
ment, there comes the carriages, excursions, tailors' 
bills, and above all the invitations which the Corps 
issues in the course of the year. This latter point is 
individual, but a well-represented Corps will usually 
give two or three balls during the year, besides small 
dances, Damen-Kneipen, etc. The balls are the 
great events of their social life, and perhaps it would 
be of some interest to describe one to which I was 



90 MY GERMAN YEAR 

invited shortly before Christmas. The invitation 
was for eight o'clock, but, as in all university matters, 
this includes an extra quarter of an hour, so that the 
guests are only expected to arrive at a quarter past 
eight. The three Chargierten (the heads of the 
Corps) received us in the entrance hall, glorious in 
immaculate evening dress. Corps ribbons, worn across 
the shirt-front, and the curious Uttle Serevis caps, 
which remind me of the forage caps which some of 
our soldiers still wear, save that they are deUcate 
works of art in blue silk and silver embroidery. Be- 
hind the Chargierten stands a crowd of beaming 
Fiichse. I must hasten to explain at this point that 
the Fiichse are not wild animals, as their name might 
suggest. The Corps is divided into two groups, the 
Burschen, or older students, who have won their 
privileges by a certain number of well-fought Mensur, 
and the Fiische, who are the new members, not yet 
having won their spurs, and bound by absolute 
obedience to their elders. Each Fiichse has what is 
called a Leib-Bursche — a sort of Mentor and particular 
friend — whom he is allowed to choose out himself. 
Some popular students have so many Leib-Fiichse 
to watch over that I should think they must find 
their nursemaid duties distinctly irksome. But let 
me return to the subject in hand. Having paid the 
Chargierten all the compUments which we could 
think of over the Christmas decorations, we were 
conducted upstairs to an improvised cloak-room. 
The efforts which had been made to achieve a 
" feminine " atmosphere were really quite pathetic. 
With the assistance and advice of the Corpsdiener's 
wife, our hosts had gathered together the most 



THE EMPEROR'S BIRTHDAY 91 

wonderful assortment of hairpins, saf ety-pinSjOrdinary 
pins, needles, cottons, and hand-glasses I have ever 
seen. A haberdasher could have set up business on 
the stock ; and, reassured by this provision for all 
possible accidents, we returned downstairs. The 
Corps was unusually strong — twenty students in all, 
and as other mascuhne guests had been invited, the 
rooms were by this time comfortably full. We were 
immediately conducted by our respective " Tisch- 
herrn " to the supper-table in the Kneipzimmer. 
The three Chargierten sat at the cross -table with the 
three most important chaperones, the others had 
their places assigned to them. Flowers were strewn 
everywhere, the string band played its hardest and 
loudest in the neighbouring room, and the supper 
began. There were three courses — rather slowly 
served by the unaccustomed Corpsdiener and his 
specially engaged satelHtes — so that, what with the 
speeches of welcome and other delays, it was past 
ten o'clock before we rose. We were then led up- 
stairs and shown the glories of the Ubrary and casino, 
the horrors of the long duelhng pistols and sabres. 
Whilst the tables were being cleared away downstairs 
cofiee was handed round, and three students sat down 
and played a Beethoven trio for violin, 'cello, and 
piano ! All three played excellently, and the others 
listened with critical interest. For any one with 
preconceived ideas of student rowdyism the sight of 
the solemn group must have been somewhat discon- 
certing. After this performance, which was warmly 
applauded, we proceeded downstairs again, and the 
dancing began. Of course the mascuhne element 
was vastly in the majority, so that there was not a 



92 MY GERMAN YEAR 

moment's rest. And the chaperones danced too — 
some of them ! The more sober sat in the adjoining 
room, and were courteously entertained by the 
partnerless remainder. At about twleve o'clock a 
great sensation was caused by the arrival of Father 
Christmas — or an individual dressed up very Hke 
him — with a great bundle over his back. After the 
recital of a self-composed poem he distributed little 
bouquets of flowers to the masculine guests, and ribbons, 
with more or less witty mottos, to the ladies. The 
music once more struck up, the bouquets were ofiered 
in exchange for a waltz, until each lady present was 
well supplied. Afterwards came the Damanwahl, in 
which the feminine element asserted its independ- 
ence, chose out the best dancers, and rewarded them 
with the much-coveted ribbons. This cotillon marked 
the high-tide of the evening, and being wise people 
we did not wait for the ebb. We departed, therefore, 
carrying with us the memory of a charming evening 
spent with hosts whose courtesy, kindliness, and 
savoir faire might well be set up as example for older 
people of genuine hospitality. When I read of the 
coarse, mannerless German student, I have only to 
recall the picture of those tall, well-built young men 
with their fresh-coloured faces — marred, it is true, 
with the Mensur scar — and their simple, unfaiHng 
courtesy, to be thoroughly amused. 

In the summer this same Corps hires its own 
tennis-court, and invites those who danced with 
them in the winter. Picnic parties are arranged, at 
which the students still play the part of amiable 
hosts. As a return the various famihes invite the 
Corps to small house-dances, and as guests the students 



THE EMPEROR'S BIRTHDAY 93 

are as agreeable as hosts. They still seem to think 
it is their business to entertain, and the agonies of 
sitting next a partner who answers in sulky mono- 
syllables and won't dance are unknown. Equally 
unknown is all loudness or roughness. The ribbon 
which the Corps student wears is a guarantee that 
he is a gentleman, and that he will behave as such. 
The Corps make itself responsible for his whole 
conduct. Hence it is very careful as to whom it 
receives into its circle. The " Keilen "" — that is to 
say, the recruiting of all sorts of students at all odd 
places and times — is only the methods of the lower 
and sometimes very inferior Burschenschaften or 
Verbindungen. The Corps only accept members 
who are recommended to them by " alte Herrn,"" 
and whose family and financial standing is unexcep- 
tionable, and it is as easy to " fly out "" as it is difiicult 
to get in. A single act of dishonour (lying or cheat- 
ing), bad debts, or a sign of cowardice, and a student 
is at once deprived of his Corps ribbon and cast out 
into everlasting disgrace. It is a hard punishment. 
To fight unfairly, or to shrink back a step from an 
opponent's sword, is an offence past pardon, and ac- 
cordingly the sinner is branded for life. Every Corps 
in Germany is given notice of his disgrace, and his 
own circle treats him as an outcast. An " ausge- 
stossener Corps-student " is in the same position as 
an officer who has been dismissed from the Army 
with " schhchtem Abschied,"" and he can either dis- 
appear into the depths, go to America, or put a bullet 
through his brains — in his own circle he has made 
himself " impossible."" 

Thus the Corps student's hfe is not all roses. He 



94 MY GERMAN YEAR 

is constantly under the eye of a stern discipline. 
However long the Kneipen (meetings) last, he must 
neither show weariness nor exhaustion ; however 
late he is up at night, at ten o'clock the next morning 
he must be at the Portal before the university in 
cap and colours ; if he uses language or relates anec- 
dotes which might not be repeated in a drawing- 
room he is heavily fined ; if he upsets anything at 
table he is fined ; if he breaks a glass he must supply 
the Corps with a dozen new ones ; under no circum- 
stances may he quarrel with or irritate a Corps- 
bruder ; and so on into every detail of his life. As 
to the tremendous beer-drinking of which one hears 
so much, I have come to the conclusion that the 
whole custom is tremendously exaggerated — chiefly 
by the student himself. He takes a curious sort of 
pride in boasting about his prowess at the Kneipen ; 
and in truth, if you count the glasses which he 
appears to consume at a sitting, it seems appalhng. 
But — and this is the point — he rarely if ever drinks 
more than half of what is set before him. Two 
minutes after his glass has been given him by the 
Corpsdiener it is whisked away again and a fresh 
one brought, so that it can be calculated with fair 
correctness that haM of the beer is really consumed 
and half of it wasted. Moreover, it must be remem- 
bered that German beer is extremely hght, and he 
must indeed have a weak head who cannot stand the 
necessary quantities. For a certain quantity must 
be drunk. If one Corps student drinks to another 
the latter must drink in return, and as this f ormaHty 
is undergone at short intervals throughout a long 
sitting, the matter can become trying in the extreme. 



",','» 



«^ , c c c 



' «^ r <; C * 




THE EMPEROR'S BIRTHDAY 95 

It is in fact considered a joke to drink constantly to 
a poor unhardened young Fuchs, till the unfortunate 
youth is only kept upright by the stern eye of the 
Chargierten. It is a curious custom, this drinking, 
and though it is undoubtedly foohsh, it is none the 
less a discipline of sorts. It requires rigid self- 
control, for, though the student may drink till 
heaven and earth are interchangeable, he may not show 
that he is drunk. But the latter stage is very rarely 
reached, and the whole drinking system is being 
modified from year to year. The duelHng, as we 
call it, remains, however, as an unalterable institution. 
No student can belong to a Corps unless he is prepared 
to fight, and no student can win the coveted three- 
coloured ribbon of the Bursche until he has fought 
successfully at least three times. Here I must 
explain what the student means by " successfully. "" 
He does not mean that he has disabled his opponent 
and himseK come off without damage — quite the 
contrary. He means that he has has a bad slash, 
and has borne it, both at the moment and in the still 
more painful afterwards, without flinching. Hence 
a brilhant fighter may fight three times and still 
remain a Fuchs. So long as he has not given visible 
proof of his courage and endurance, so long must he 
be content to occupy an inferior position among his 
brothers. His actual skill counts for comparatively 
nothing. This is the explanation for the pride 
which a student takes in his sometimes very grisly 
wounds. He sees in them, and he knows that others 
see in them, not the sign that he is a poor fighter, 
but that he has borne himself with honour. 

The Mensur, as this form of fighting is called, is 



96 MY GERMAN YEAR 

not a duel. It is conducted without animosity 
between students of different Corps. (The Corps do 
not fight with the Burschenschaften.) The third 
Chargierter of the contending Corps choose out their 
representatives in perfect friendhness, and match 
them according to their size and experience. No 
Fuchs is allowed to fight until he has been taught, 
and accordingly every university has its Pauklehrer 
(teacher), who instruct the younger students to wield 
the sabres, and also to bear himself properly. Every 
morning the beginners must practise for a couple 
of hours on the Paukboden, as it is called, protected 
by masks and pads, and only when he has reached 
a certain degree of proficiency is he allowed to take 
his part in the " real thing."' At the risk of placing 
myself in the position of a constant apologist for 
German customs, I feel that in justice I must make 
some effort to defend the practice which excites so 
much disgust and wonder among my own com- 
patriots. The " real thing "" is scarcely more violent, 
and perhaps less brutal, than a hard-fought game of 
Rugby football, and it requires infinitely more nerve 
and courage. It is true that the vital part of the 
student's body is padded and his eyes protected, but 
the whole of his face and head are exposed to the 
full force of his opponent's weapon. And the force 
is sometimes tremendous. There is no delicate 
French fencing. The " Schlager " (straight sword 
without point) is wielded above the head with an 
energy and rapidity which is bewildering, and neither 
of the opponents may flinch or jerk his head, or 
move back from his position. The two seconds on 
either side, armed with sabres, watch eagle-eyed for 



THE EMPEROR'S BIRTHDAY 97 

the sKghest infringement of the law, and woe to him 
who involmitarily shifts his position ! If he is a 
young Fuchs he may be let ofi once with a few weeks' 
Verbannung, but if the practice continues he has 
proved himself unworthy of the Corps, and must go. 
The Verbannung, I must explain, is the hardest 
punishment which can be inflicted short of actual 
expulsion. It is a kind of " Coventry " into which a 
sinner may be sent for a few days or a few weeks 
according to the nature of his offence, and during 
that time he may neither speak to his comrades or 
wear the colours. He generally consoles himseK with 
his much-neglected work. To return to the Mensur. 
Each "partie" lasts until one of the opponents 
has been " ausgestochen,'" that is to say, sufficiently 
badly cut to warrant the interference of the Paukarzt, 
who is always on the spot. The victim is marched 
ofE in the highest spirits to the adjoining room, where 
his wounds are immediately stitched, and not in the 
most gentle fashion either. Whilst he is being sewn 
up — sometimes the gashes require as many as sixteen 
stitches — ^his friends stand round, photograph him 
from the damaged side, and keep up a cheerful fire 
of comments, which the object must accept with un- 
failing good -humour. No matter how painful the 
operation may be, he must not flinch, and though they 
deny it with an easy shrug of the shoulders, it must 
often be a trying ordeal. After a Mensur a student 
belonging to a good Corps does not go into society 
until his wounds are presentable ; he consoles him- 
self by wandering about the streets with a black 
skull-cap and a bandaged face, though even this is 
sometimes forbidden. 
7 



98 MY GERMAN YEAR 

I have already mentioned that the Corps do not 
fight with the Burschenshaften, and now comes the 
reason, which is quite German, a direct extension 
of the " Kastengeist " into a smaller sphere. The 
Corps consider themselves altogether above the 
Burschenshaften, and the feeHng between the two 
parties is sometimes painfully strained. On the 
whole it must be admitted that the Corps are not 
far wrong in their self-estimation. There are, as 
a rule, only five Corps in a university, whose total 
numbers rarely amount to a hundred. These are 
the " elect "" — young men of noble birth, as in 
the Borussia Corps in Bonn, or at any rate of good 
family. The Burschenschaften, with one or two 
respectable exceptions, are made up of all the ele- 
ments which present themselves. Hence, though 
they have much the same laws as the Corps students, 
the tone among them is exactly that which one 
would expect to find in a very mixed society. They 
show themselves far more than the Corps students, 
and the stranger who sees a badly dressed, unplea- 
sant-looking youth swaggering about in a coloured 
cap goes home with a sad tale of the Corps student, 
whom he has probably not seen at all. Besides the 
Burschenshaften there are the Wilden — students 
who belong to no Verbindung, and take no part in 
the fighting. On the whole they are looked upon 
with dishke and suspicion by the authorities — 
again not altogether without reason. Poles, Jews, 
doubtful specimens of all nations, mix with equally 
doubtful Germans, and the professors, who have 
usually been Corps students themselves, have no 
love for them. Of course there is always the class 



THE EMPEROR'S BIRTHDAY 99 

of workers, retired Corps students, who are looked 
upon with respect, but they are not the Wilden, who, 
whilst professing to belong to no particular order, 
form a union amongst themselves whose motto is 
freedom — very often Hcence. The Wilden contain 
all the elements which afterwards drift — if they are 
not already there — into the arms of red-hot socialism 
and worse. The tendency towards socialism is 
alone sufficient to debar them from all intercourse 
with either the Burschenschaften or the Corps. The 
latter are essentially " Reichsgesinnten,"" that is to 
say, sworn foes to socialism and staunch adherers 
to the throne.- Bismarck is their ideal German, 
and his portrait, with that of the present 
Emperor, hangs in the place of honour in every 
Corpshaus. 

As regards the part which the Corps student 
plays in pubHc life, everything depends on the 
university. In large cities, such as BerHn and 
Munich, they have next to no influence, but in Heidel- 
berg and Freiburg they are the ruling powers. The 
town accepts their escapades with a smihng counten- 
ance, and even the pohceman treats them with a not 
very afiectionate respect. Certainly the town has 
all reason to love the wearers of the coloured caps, 
for without them the shops might just as well put 
up their shutters. The student is reckless with his 
" dedication presents," his carriages, his tailor's 
and smoking bills, and as the tradesman's pet trick 
is to refuse cash payment, and to send in enormous 
accounts long after the student has forgotten what 
he really did and did not buy, the poor youth — or 
rather his poor father — is miserably swindled. As 



100 MY GERMAN YEAR 

to the policeman, he plays his r61e in fear and trem- 
bling. He knows that for every severity on his part 
the punishment is sure and swift. Thus there was 
once a misguided sergeant who, having caught some 
young Fuchse at their favourite amusement of turn- 
ing out the street lamps, marched them off to the 
Career (university prison), and saw to it that they 
were rewarded with a few days' confinement. Some 
weeks later the same sergeant, wandering through the 
streets at midnight, saw a sight which delighted his 
venomous heart — students crawhng stealthily down 
the street bearing on their shoulders a suspicious- 
looking ladder. 

" Ha ! '" thought the Law, " another sign-board 
to be stolen ! This is a chance for glory ! "" and 
followed on tip-toe. His supposition proved all too 
correct. Outside a shop where a large sign-board 
announced the wares of a certain tailor a halt was 
made. After much peering round and mysterious 
whisperings, the ladder was hoisted and the theft 
committed. " Caught — red-handed ! "" cried the 
triumphant sergeant, pouncing upon his victims. 
Fearful consternation ensued. The more timid fell 
on their knees and implored him to " let them off 
this once,'' touching references were made to the 
broken mother-hearts and disgraced fathers; but 
the Law was obdurate, and behold the whole crest- 
fallen, lamenting crowd was marched solemnly off 
to the Wache. There the superintendent began his 
part. Dehghted to have so many victims at one 
haul, he made the formahties as long and painful 
as he could. Long Hsts with names and addresses 
mere made out, impertinent questions asked, and 



THE EMPEROR'S BIRTHDAY 101 

ong speeches held, until after some two weary hours 
had passed the eldest student meekly produced a 
bill. 

" But is it the law that one may not remove one's 
own property, dear Herr PoUzist ? "" he asked with 
humble interest. 

" What the devil do you mean ? "" 

" You see — the sign-board happens to be ours " 

" Yours ? " 

" We bought it this morning, if you please. Here 
is the receipt." 

A veil may be drawn over the subsequent ex- 
plosion, and the war dance of triumph which was 
executed outside the Wache and all the way home, 
to the chagrin of the peacefully sleeping Heidel- 
berger citizens. Such scenes are too common, and 
I have only ventured to quote the historic prank 
because it is typical of student pranks in general. 
Sometimes they are witty and sometimes they are 
not, but on the whole they are as harmless as the 
one I have described. 

Like every member of the better class society, 
the Corps student is intensely exclusive. Except 
on certain fixed occasions he does not even associate 
with members of other corps, and he only enters into 
society either with his Corps brothers or with their 
sanction. Thus it is very rare to see a student any- 
where alone ; and if he begins to mix in a circle not 
approved of by the rest of his Corps, he is very quickly 
brought to the right-about. A student whom I 
know is a keen sportsman, but his Corps has forbidden 
him to join the hockey and tennis clubs in the town, 
firstly, because there are Wilden among the members. 



102 MY GERMAN YEAR 

and secondly, because it takes up too much of his 
time. A Corps student, therefore, must be prepared 
to give up everything from the moment he wears 
the colours, and to surrender his will entirely into 
the hands of the majority. This system no doubt 
tends to narrowness and one-sidedness, but the ex- 
treme efiects are rubbed off as soon as the student 
leaves the university behind him, and it belongs 
to the German idea of discipHne, which is the leading 
idea in every phase of hfe. Moreover, hke all German 
exclusiveness, it has its reasons and its advantages. 
The reason is not far to seek. It must be remembered 
that the Corps is responsible for the behaviour of 
each one of its members, and that should one of 
them bring discredit on himself the whole Corps 
may be abohshed, or at any rate suspended for any 
number of terms. Hence it behoves the Chargierten- 
to keep stern watch over the younger members. 
And the advantage is, as I have already remarked, 
that a young man cannot get into bad society or 
run wild. The latter dangers are greater in a German 
than in an EngUsh university, because the student 
is imder no direct control, and is free to study, 
**bummel,'' or go to the bad very much as he hkes. 
The Corps acts as a sort of expensive but rehable 
brake, and the young man who beheves that he is 
enjoying the wildest freedom is really under the 
strictest possible control. He does not reaUse the 
fact, and so does not mind it, and in after days he 
looks back upon his Corps life as to the happiest, 
freest time, when he enjoyed himself most, worked 
least, and made his best and most enduring 
friendships. 



THE EMPEROR'S BIRTHDAY 103 

All this has been a lengthy digression from the 
starting-point, but the German student-life is a 
compHcated subject, which I do not pretend to have 
done more than touched on. Nevertheless, I trust 
I have explained sufficient to introduce the reader 
into the midst of a Kaiser-Kommers — the student's 
celebration of the Emperor's birthday — ^with the 
feeling that it will not be entirely incomprehensible 
to him. A Kommers, it must be explained, is a 
formal meeting of all the Corps, and sometimes of 
the Burschenshaften, to celebrate some special 
national event. The Kaiser-Kommers is the most 
important of these, and takes place some days before 
the 27th of January in one or other of the large 
town halls. As the Corps and the Burschenshaften 
are nearly always on bad terms, it is very rare that 
the peace angels succeed in bringing them together, 
and each party usually holds its Kommers alone. 
Though the scene suffers thereby in size and colour, 
it is on the whole more attractive and in every way 
more select. Ladies are invited as admirers, and are 
throned at long tables on a raised platform, from 
whence they have a wide view over the whole scene. 
At the far end of the hall each Corps has built up 
its emblems of flags, shields, and armorial bearings 
with the presiding Corps of the year in the centre. 
Beneath these gay trappings is the guest-table, with 
the invited professors, town officials, and higher 
officers. The first Chargierter of the presiding Corps 
occupies the great oak-chair in the centre, and com- 
mands the ceremonies. The tables of the Corps are 
arranged down the centre of the hall ; each Corps 
has its own table, with the Chargierter at the head, 



104 MY GERMAN YEAR 

and is supplemented by " alte Herrn " and special 
guests, who are received at the entrance and con- 
ducted to their places amidst the salutations of the 
whole assembly — a somewhat embarrassing pro- 
ceeding, by the way. The scene is a brilHant one, 
especially for the modern eye, which is accustomed 
only to drab and dreary colours in the masculine 
world. The well-set-up figures in the picturesque 
Vix — or uniform — form a picture which the stranger 
does not easily forget. Each Corps has its own 
Kneip-Jacke, a sort of short, braided military coat 
in the Corps colour, in this case either pale blue 
cornflower, dark blue, green, or black — the Serevis to 
match, white leather trousers, and high black boots 
over the knee. The Chargierter carry swords with 
sashes, with the Corps colour over the shoulder, and 
the Burschenschaften — when they are present — 
wear long ostrich plumes in their caps after 
the fashion of an earher age. Indeed, the whole 
scene seems to belong to another and more chivalrous 
century. 

Meanwhile a string band performs selections out 
of the operas until the presiding Chargierter rises, 
and, having struck the table three times with his 
drawn sword, commands " Silentium ! '' He then 
announces that a " Salamander "" is to be " rubbed " 
in honour of his Imperial Majesty. This performance 
is a curious one. The whole assembly rises, the 
Chargierter commands " Eins ! " Each takes his 
glass of beer and drinks it to the dregs. " Zwei ! "" 
The glasses are lowered. " Eins, zwei, drei ! " The 
glasses are rattled sharply on the table, producing 
a sound hke muffled thunder — at " drei ! " they are 



S' I 



, > « • o 




c • •« • c 



THE EMPERORS BIRTHDAY 105 

brought down with a single abrupt crash. Such is 
the student's method of drinking a health — the 
famous Salamander. After this the singing begins. 
Drinking, fighting, and singing — these three occupa- 
tions play a great part in the student's life, and the 
latter item by no means the least. The German 
student sings well and lustily, and his songs are 
worth singing. They are fresh, vigorous, and melodi- 
ous without being trivial. The greatest German poets 
and composers have helped to enrich the store, and 
consequently it is a real pleasure to Hsten, and even 
to join in, as every guest is expected to do. During 
the singing the first Chargierter of each Corps remains 
standing, as also during the speeches which follow. 
The first is to the Emperor, held by the presiding 
Chargierter, after which the national anthem is 
sung, and a second Salamander " rubbed.'' Speeches 
for the Grand Duke, the professors, the guests, and 
last — but not least, and by far the most amusing — 
for the ladies, are held by the different Chargierten, 
and each is concluded by the complimentary Sala- 
mander, to which, fortunately, the ladies are not 
expected to respond. When one considers that the 
speech-holders are Httle more than boys, and that 
they have an audience of professors, generals, and 
sometimes of the Grand Duke himself, the speeches 
are remarkably good, and are always warmly patriotic. 
" Patriotism " is indeed the keynote of the whole 
proceedings. The songs and speeches breathe the 
same passionate attachment to Kaiser and Vaterland, 
. and one feels that one is in touch with a great and 
vigorous national force in embryo. In between the 
songs and speeches the ladies are visited and pre- 



106 MY GERMAN YEAR 

sented with flowers from the Corps by which they 
are invited, and then at twelve o'clock the ceremony 
begins which is to mark the close of the official 
part of the evening. This is the " Landesvater/^ 
During the singing of a certain song, to which the 
name " Landesvater '' is given, the two youngest 
students of each corps, at opposite sides of the table, 
drink to each other standing ; a Chargierter takes up 
his place behind each on the empty chair, and gives 
his charge his Schlager or sword. These are first 
clashed together in time to the music and then 
crossed, whilst between the points the Chargierter 
on the one side gives his hand to the student on the 
other. At the end of the last verse — " Halten will 
ich stets auf Ehre " — each student takes his cap 
and pierces it on to his sword. The two particular 
verses are then begun again, and the Chargierten 
move on to the next couple, until all the caps of the 
Corps are collected on to the sword. Those who 
have performed their part of the ceremony hnk 
arms, so that at the end the whole Corps is thus 
joined together round the table. This ends the 
official part of the evening. Afterwards, when the 
guests have gone, the end of the song is sung, and 
the caps returned to their respective owners. All 
forms and ceremonies are then over ; the Corps 
mingle together, and singing, drinking, and smoking 
occupy the hours until — no one knows when except 
perhaps the milkman ! 

I have ventured to give the Landesvater with a 
very rough translation, because, in the original at 
least, it expresses the German spirit, German patriot- 
ism, and the German love of symboUsm. The melody 



THE EMPEROR'S BIRTHDAY 107 

is simple and impressive, as indeed is thfe whole 
ceremony, unlikely though it may sound. It may 
not appeal to our English taste, any more than the 
student-Hfe itself, but not on that account have we 
the right to ignore what is undoubtedly the source, 
the very root of all. " For Emperor, Fatherland 
and honour ! "" is the rallying cry of the German 
student, and it is the guiding principle which he 
carries with him into his after-Hfe. No doubt he is 
very young, very foolish, very tenacious of his 
ancient, antiquated customs, but he has retained 
the high purpose of which the customs are but the 
rough expression, and has brightened it with that 
poetry and idealism which is the German's heritage. 



THE LANDESVATEK 



Alles schweige ! Jeder neige 
ernsten Tonen nun sein Ohr ! 
Hort, ich sing das Lied der 
Lieder ! hort es, meine deutchen 
Briider ! hall es, hall es wieder, 
froher Chor ! 



2. 



Deutchlands Sohne, laut ertone 
euerVaterlandsgesang ! Vaterland ! 
du Land des Ruhmes, weih zud ! 
deines Heiligtumes, Hiitem, uns 
und unser Schwert ! 



3. 



Hab und Leben dir zugeten, 
sind wir allesamt bereit, sterben 
gem zu jeder Stunde, achten nicht 
der Todeswunde, wenn das Vater- 
land gebeut. 



1. 



Silence all ! Let each atune his 
ear to solemn tones ! Listen, I 
sing the song of songs ! Hear it, 
my German brothers ! Echo it, 
echo it again, happy choir ! 



2. 



Germany's sons, loud rings your 
Fatherland's song ! Fatherland ! 
the land of glory, consecrate to 
your sacred protection us and these 
our swords ! 



Life and possessions are we all 
ready to give thee, glad to die at 
any hour, despising the death- 
wound when the Fatherland com- 
mands. 



108 



MY GERMAN YEAR 



Wer's nicht fiihlet, selbst nicht 
zielet stets nach deutcher Manner 
Wert, soil nicht unsem Bund- 
entehren, nicht bei diesem Degen 
schworen, nicht entweihen das 
deutche Schwert. 



5. 



Lied der Lieder, hall es wieder : 
grosz und deutch sei unser Mut ! 
Seht hier den geweihten Degen, 
tut, wir braven Burschen pflegen, 
und durchbohrt den freien 
Hut I 



6. 



Seht ihn blinken in der Linken, 
diesen Sclager, nie entweiht ! 
Ich durchbohr den Hut und 
schwore, halten will ich stets auf 
Ehre, [stets ein braver Bursche 



Nimm den Becher, wackrer 
Zecher, vaterlandschen Trankes 
vol! ! Nimm den Schlager in die 
Linke, bohrihn durch den Hut 
und trinke auf des Vaterlandes 
Wohl! 



4. 



He who does not feel this, he 
who strives not always to attain 
the worth of German men, shall 
not dishonour our union, shall not 
swear by this weapon, shall not 
desecrate the German sword. 



6. 



Song of songs, echo it again, 
great and German be our courage ! 
See here, the consecrated weapon ; 
do, as is the custom of brave 
fellows, and pierce through the 
cap of freedom I 



6. 



See it flashing in the left hand — 
the sword never desecrated ! I 
pierce the cap and swear that I 
will ever hold to honour, ever be 
a true fellow (Bursche). 



7. 



Bold drinker, take the cup, brim- 
ming with the Fatherland's toast ! 
Take the sword in the left hand, 
pierce the cap, and drink to the 
glory of the Fatherland ! 



Here follows the second part of the ceremony, 
when the caps are given back to certain verses of 
the song, which conclude thus — 

10. 10. 



Auf ihr Festgenossen, achtet 
unsre Sitte, heilig, schon ! Ganz 
mit Herz und Seele trachtet, stets 
als Manner zu bestehen. Froh 
zum Fest ihr trauten briider, jeder 
sei der Vater wert I Keiner taste 
je ans Schwert der nicht edel 
let und bieder 



Thus, companions, respect our 
custom, holy, beautiful ! With 
heart and soul strive to live as 
men. Joyous in the feast, let 
each be worthy of his fathers, 
let no one touch the sword who 
is not noble and true. 



THE EMPEROR'S BIRTHDAY 109 



11. 

Ruhe von der Burschenfeier, 
blanker Weihedegen, nun ! Jeder 
trachte, wackrer Freier um das 
Vaterland zu sein ! Jedeom Heil, 
der sich bemiihte ganz zu sein 
der Vater wert ; keiner taste je 
ans Schwert, der nicht edel ist 
und bieder. 



11. 

Shining weapon, rest now from 
this our ceremony ! Let each en- 
deavour to be the brave defender 
of the Fatherland ! Hail to him 
who strives to be worthy of his 
race ; and let no one touch the 
sword who is not noble and true. 



CHAPTER VIII 



THE DUEL 



STUDENT life and an incident — or rather 
tragedy — which was recently related to me 
leads me naturally to the subject of duelling in 
Germany. Briefly the tragedy — which is not of 
recent date, and, indeed, belongs to all ages — is 
as follows: Two officers, nicknamed Castor and 
Pollux on account of their unusually close and 
long friendship, were stationed together in some 
desolate frontier garrison. Castor married. His 
wife, a young and pretty woman, came, as a matter 
of course, to share her husband's dreary and mono- 
tonous existence, and — equally as a matter of 
course — was bored to extinction. Now she was 
musical, and it so happened that Pollux was also 
musical, and, as Hausfreund, it was only natural that 
he should constantly come to the house to play 
duets with his friend's wife. As time went on, ugly 
whispers were heard — how much truth there was in 
them no one knows — and the day came when the 
Colonel called Castor to him and warned him that 
the honour of the regiment demanded that the 
scandal should be put an end to. Castor put an 
end to it. No doubt he discovered enough to 
justify the extreme course, but, be it as it may, he 



THE DUEL 111 

challenged his hfe-long friend the same night, and 
the next morning was shot dead by him. It seemed 
indeed as though the " Gottesgericht " had once 
more failed to pick out the real culprit, but indeed 
Castor wished for no other fate. He had lost his 
friend, his wife, his honour, and consequently his 
career, and death was the one possible solution. 
Pollux was sentenced to two years' fortress, and, 
after the expiration of his sentence, left the army 
and married his dead friend's wife. All this is long 
ago, but I am told that though from that hour 
fortune seemed to smile on him, he became a wretched 
and broken man. Such is the tragedy. It is in no 
way new, but it is a typical instance of the causes 
which lead to a duel in Germany. It is typical also 
as regards the consequences which are very often 
fatal. Mark Twain's dehghtful description of a 
French duel is, no doubt, a truthful caricature, but 
it is significant that even the Amercian's unhmited 
powers of seeing " the funny side of things " has not 
led him to touch Kghtly on the German duel. It is, 
indeed, not a matter for jesting ; and whether you 
approve or disapprove, you are at least impressed, 
awed even, by the stern code which commands one 
man to dehberately demand Hfe for an injury done. 
The German is not given to treating the duel, or 
anything else for that matter, with a hght or frivolous 
hand. I cannot imagine two heated opponents 
— after much advertisement and ceremonial — 
crossing dainty foils, and, after the first scratch, 
falhng into each other's arms in floods of conciHatory 
tears. It is a too un-German tableau to be think- 
able. The German goes out in the early morning, 



112 MY GERMAN YEAR 

unheard and unseen save by those immediately 
concerned, and exchanges shots with his enemy at a 
given number of paces until one or other is hors de 
combat — perhaps dead. Sometimes the conditions 
may be less severe, the outcome less tragic — some- 
times, but not often. For the German duel is a 
rarity even among students, who of all are the most 
given to the practice, and when it actually comes 
to pass, it means that the cause has been serious, 
requiring severe measures. 

I repeat, the duel is a rarity, not because people 
are beginning to disapprove of the system, but 
because it is not in the German nature to trifle, least 
of all in the matter of his honour. He does not want 
to lay himself open to the charge of being ridiculous, 
and, since everything which is carried to extremes 
is bound in the course of time to degenerate into the 
absurd, as in the case of the French duel, he takes 
care that the " Zweikampf "" shall be a last solemn 
measure resorted to when no other course is possible. 
No doubt, from the Enghsh point of view, there is 
always another course possible. Had the tragedy 
which I have just related taken place in England, 
Castor would have simply sought his vengeance in 
the murky atmosphere of the Divorce Court, and 
there would have been an end of the matter. But 
the German sees that matter from another stand- 
point. His honour is his fetish, the foundations on 
which his whole Hfe is built, and a man who had 
gone through Castor's experience would argue that 
he had not only lost his domestic happiness, but 
that his highest earthly treasure had been brutally 
trodden under foot, his good name for ever sulHed, 



THE DUEL 113 

He would argue that a Court of Justice does not and 
cannot repair this injury, and that to drag his name 
through the mud of pubhcity is only to add disgrace 
to disgrace. Hence he s bands in contemptuous 
wonder before the picture of the EngHshman who 
allows the hohest and ughest details of his private 
life to be made the food for every daily rag, and who 
will even accept money in return for the injury done 
him. For him such a course would be an impossi- 
bihty, a horrible absurdity, which would damn him 
for ever in the eyes of the world as a coward, a man 
without sufficient personal courage to protect his 
honour, or — worse still — without sufficient sense of 
honour to make the protection a necessity. I once 
had a long discussion on the subject with a German 
gentleman, and tried to make our standpoint clear 
to him, but he had always the same answer — 

" The man who takes money for his honour has 
never had any honour. He is a merchant who 
trades with his name and reputation." 

It is not my intention to discuss the ethical 
rights and wrongs of the case, but it must be admitted 
that in certain circumstances justice is helpless to 
make reparation. If it be said that in the duel it is 
more often than not the chief culprit who gets off 
unpimished, I can only retort that the same thing 
usually happens in the courts. Imagine Castor in 
the witness-box giving evidence against his wife 
and dearest friend, making a pubhc scandal of all 
that was best and most sacred in his Ufe, and accept- 
ing money as a consolation ! If innocency and 
blamelessness testify to a higher refinement and 
sensitiveness, who is most likely to feel the most — 
8 



114 MY GERMAN YEAR 

Castor, the man of honour, or Pollux, who has 
already plunged into deceit and disloyalty ? More- 
over — and this appHes especially to Germany — the 
mud thrown in a Court of Justice is enough to make 
the man with the most spotless reputation shrink 
from seeking protection in that quarter. I need 
only to think of a certain great trial here, when a 
young and absolutely innocent girl was accused — 
without the shadow of evidence — of the murder of 
her mother. It was simply a detestable trick 
played by the defenders of the real culprit, but that 
girl's Ufe was made a hell on earth for something 
like two years. She was pursued by the vilest 
insinuations, insults, and taunts. The mob was 
incited against her ; every detail of her hfe, her 
letters, her childhood, her clothes — down to the 
fact that she wore silk petticoats ! — was made the 
subject of the most revolting discussions in open 
court, and in the daily papers. She was of good 
family, gently nurtured, highly educated ; she had 
lost her mother under the most terrible circum- 
stances, and that these unchecked and purposeless 
calumnies, and the constant strain of their refutation, 
did not turn her brain, has been my constant wonder. 
For two years she fought her battle with truly 
heroic tenacity, and was at last grudgingly proclaimed 
victor over her calumniators. But what was their 
shght, almost nominal, punishment compared to 
her sufferings ? An editor was fined a few hundred 
marks — he had made thousands over the case — 
and her Ufe was ruined. Not " all the perfumes of 
Arabia " could wash her name clean from the wanton 
scandal with which it had been sullied, and to the 



THE DUEL 115 

end of her days no doubt the spiteful people of the 
world will nudge each other when they see her. 

" That is Do you remember the great trial ? 

They said she murdered her mother, etc., etc. Where 
there is smoke there is always fire, etc., etc." And 
all this without the faintest scrap of justification, 
except that given by notorious Uars and perjurers ! 
It is not to be wondered, therefore, that a gentle- 
man, having been outrageously insulted or injured, 
hesitates to drag his case into a German court, where 
spite, vindictiveness, and calumny are allowed to 
flourish without hindrance. It is not to be won- 
dered at that he prefers to take his vengeance in 
his own hands. And, moreover, it is a fact that 
duelling prevents scandal, or, at least, prevents it 
from spreading. People keep tighter reins on their 
gossiping propensities when they know that the 
object of their gossip is ready to demand Ufe as an 
atonement. Even if the atonement be demanded, 
and the victim of the calumny himseK fall, the 
scandal is at an end — death holds up a warning 
hand before which the most confirmed scandal- 
monger shrinks back appalled. Under such cir- 
cumstances the duel can only be resorted to as an 
extreme measure, when the insulted feels that death 
is preferable to Ufe under the shadow of the injury 
which has been done him, and a duel over trifles is 
almost unknown, and universally condemned. The 
student is the worst culprit in this respect ; his sense 
of honour is dehberately strained to a state of 
sensitiveness which makes the shghtest lack of 
civiUty a cause of quarrel. Some time ago a student 
of one Corps neglected to salute a student of another 



116 MY GERMAN YEAR 

Corps. A duel was the result, and cost one of the 
combatants his life. It was an accident — the sur- 
vivor had only intended to disable his opponent ; 
but pubhc opinion was so strong thab both Corps were 
suspended, and the seconds punished. Had the 
cause of the duel been serious, no one would have 
been punished, for the German Civil Law, to all 
intents and purposes, recognises — in certain cases — 
the duel as an inevitable evil. Nominal punish- 
ments are affixed, ranging from six months to three 
years' " arrest,"' but the six months can be given in a 
fatal case ; and if the cause of the duel be proved 
sufficiently serious, and the proceedings throughout 
have been correct, the survivor will probably receive 
his pardon from the Emperor or the ruler of the 
State. In any case the " arrest '' has no sort of 
stigma attached to it — rather the contrary — and it 
must be added that abuse of this virtual permission 
is rare. The student who has had his over-sensitive 
honour wounded usually resorts to a " Sabel-Mensur '' 
— a more dangerous form of the ordinary Mensur, 
which, however, has rarely a serious outcome. He 
cannot even enter into such a conflict without the 
approval of the Ehrengericht — the Court of Honour — 
formed of impartial fellow-students, who consider if 
the cause justifies the extreme measure, and arranges 
that the conditions shall be in proportion to the 
seriousness of the offence. They are young men, 
and it sometimes happens that their decisions are 
not of the wisest, but, on the whole, they recognise 
the importance of their mission, and endeavour to 
modify the conditions if, according to their ideas, 
the duel prove inevitable. The tragic and foohsh 



THE DUEL 117 

case which I have just mentioned happened some 
years ago, and has found no repetition as far as I 
know. Without doubt many duels are hushed up, 
and the causes — especially when they are serious — 
limited to the knowledge of those immediately con- 
cerned ; but a fatal duel cannot be passed over un- 
chronicled, and in six years I have only heard of one 
case, and that was in another part of Germany. 
When it is remembered that the German sense of 
honour is extremely high-pitched, and that all men 
of the upper classes regard the duel as the one and 
only resource for a gentleman who has been insulted, 
it must be admitted that the percentage is very low. 
Possibly the reason is that, where everybody Hves in 
glass houses, everybody is very careful not to throw 
stones, and it is certainly true that German men are 
exceptionally poHte to each other. 

The civiHan duel is the rarest duel of all. The 
civiHan has only his personal honour to protect, 
whereas the oflQ.cer is guardian not only of his own 
but of his professional honour (Standesehre), and 
the latter is the most sensitive of all. The officer, 
in fact, is not to be considered as a private indi- 
vidual, but as the member of a great body — one is 
almost tempted to say a sacred body, since the 
German considers the protection of King and 
Fatherland a sacred duty. Hence an officer who 
is insulted is twice insulted, and if he does not 
immediately resort to arms he is considered un- 
worthy of his post, and is dismissed the army. 

" I expect,"" stands in the Emperor's proclama- 
tion of 1872, " from the whole officers' Corps of my 
army that as in the past, so in the future, Honour 



118 MY GERMAN YEAR 

shall be its highest treasure, to keep it pure and 
spotless the highest duty of the individual and of 
the whole body." 

This " Honour " entails something more than 
our idea of honour. It requires not only that a man 
should abstain from every unworthy action, but 
that he should represent outwardly in his person, 
in his words and actions, a high ideal which he must 
defend with his hfe from insult, from ridicule, from 
humiliation. This does not mean that a young 
lieutenant has the right to challenge his colonel 
when the latter has the audacity to find fault with 
him. These sort of insults must be stoically swal- 
lowed, and all sensitiveness kept out of sight where 
duty is concerned. Indeed, if a superior officer 
accepts a challenge from a subordinate, it costs 
both him and the challenger " the collar," as the 
saying goes — ^in other words, both will be requested 
to send in their commissions. It is only outside 
the actual military service, in the private Hfe of the 
officer, as it were, that the duel plays a part. Then 
anybody who attacks by word or deed a member 
of the officers* Corps is guilty of an indirect Use 
MajestS, and unless an apology is immediately 
forthcoming, the punishment is swift and sure. 
This is known ; the German accepts the situation. 
He treats the officer with careful respect and courtesy, 
and the officer in turn treats him with a cautious 
formahty. It follows as a natural result that 
amongst the officers themselves all " ragging," 
chaff out of moderation, rough manners, a " letting- 
oneself-go," is almost unknown. Such things can 
but lead to the most disastrous results, and it is the 



THE DUEL 119 

business of every comrade to stop a quarrel or a 
joke before it reaches a point where there is no 
turning back. For it is a mistake to imagine that 
dueUing is in any way encouraged or looked upon 
with favour. It is looked upon in the Mght of a 
dangerous but sometimes unavoidable operation 
in a case which has gone too far to be cured by any 
other means. An officer who has fought in a duel 
has cast a serious shadow over his own career ; it is 
considered a sign of tactlessness, lack of self-control, 
and so on, faults which obviously unfit him for a 
high post. If he has fought without just cause, or 
forced a comrade into a quarrel with deUberate 
intent, he is summarily dismissed the army. On 
the other hand, he may not refuse to fight. If 
he does so the same punishment awaits him. The 
case is put clearly by the Emperor himself in the 
course of the proclamation which I have already 
quoted : — 

" The Court of Honour shall only proceed against 
officers on account of a duel when one or other of the 
combatants has, either as regards the cause or the 
conduct of the quarrel, sinned against the Stande- 
sehre. This must happen in the possible case of an 
officer criminally and without any cause insulting a 
comrade. For I will as Httle tolerate in my army 
an officer who is capable of wickedly injuring a 
comrade's honour, as I will tolerate an officer who 
does not know how to defend his honour." 

On another occasion, I beheve, he declared that 
he would punish an officer who fought in a duel, 
but that he would dismiss an officer who refused a 
challenge. 



120 MY GERMAN YEAR 

Thus it is clear that the duel is a serious matter 
from whatever point it is considered, and the pro- 
spect of a ruined career is sulBScient to prevent the 
young hot-heads from allowing their passions to get 
the better of them. Moreover, there is always the 
Court of Honour — composed of specially elected 
officers from the regiment — ^which, if it has not 
actually the power to prevent a duel, must always 
be informed, and in correct cases decide whether 
there is sufficient cause, and what the conditions of 
the duel should be. A duel must be fought within 
twenty-four hours of the challenge, and all the 
arrangements, the informing of the Court, the 
endeavours to bring about a reconciliation, and so on, 
is given into the hands of the two seconds. Pistols 
are nearly always used, though sabres are allowed, 
and the distance and conditions, either a certain 
number of shots, or continued firing until one or 
both of the combatants are hors de combat, depend 
entirely on the severity of the insult. But, as I 
have said, it rarely happens that trifles bring about 
such disasters. There is nearly always some tact- 
ful comrade at hand to prevent matters from reach- 
ing danger point, and thus when a duel actually 
takes place, the conditions are usually serious. 
The so-called American duel is looked upon 
as " unritterHch " (unchivahous), and is never 
practised. 

So much for the duel as it exists in the German 
Army. It may be decreasing, but I do not beheve 
that it will ever cease to be a national institution 
in certain classes of society, so long as it has the 
support of the Emperor. Only the other day an 



THE DUEL 121 

anxious member of the Reichstag brought in an 
appeal that duelling in the Army might be alto- 
gether suppressed. The Government retorted that 
for men of honour the duel was a necessity, and that 
it had no intention of interfering. 

In conclusion, I must mention the most difficult 
and the most disastrous form of duelling — that 
between the ofl&cer and the civihan. Between one 
officer and another the matter is simple enough. 
Both men are governed by the same code; but 
the civihan makes his own laws, and should he be 
of democratic tendencies, he may refuse to fight 
altogether. Or, what is worse from the officer's 
point of view, he may prove not " satisfactionsfahig '^ 
(not in a social position in equality with the chal- 
lenger). If an officer has been pubHcly insulted 
by a civihan who will not accept his challenge, or 
who is beneath him socially, httle remains for him 
but to send in his commission — he has allowed the 
uniform to be insulted, and has been unable to 
demand satisfaction. Should he actually receive 
a blow, he has no option but to draw his sword, and 
it is expressly stated that he must not draw it merely 
to threaten or intimidate. Count von Schwerin wrote 
as follows on the subject : — 

" Without any fault of his it can happen that an 
officer is insulted (a blow is meant in this instance) 
by a man from whom he cannot demand satisfaction. 
In such a case, where the attack is usually unex- 
pected and treacherous, it is necessary to act with 
the greatest determination ; then the officer must 
make use of his weapon. An officer who sees him- 
self forced, either after an attack or before a threaten- 



122 MY GERMAN YEAR 

ing attack, to draw his sword must never do so 
simply to frighten/' 

This law has led to more than one tragedy, 
though it must be said to the credit of the German 
lower classes, and to the self-control of the officers 
themselves, that they are very rare. A case of this 
description actually occured in Karlsruhe some 
time ago. An officer was seated with friends in a 
rather second-class cafe, when a man of inferior 
social position, passing behind his chair, deliberately 
tried to tip it up and throw the officer to the ground. 
The officer thought it wiser to treat the matter 
as an accident, and went on talking. The man 
passed a second time, acting in the same manner. 
The officer, feehng that the incident had been 
witnessed by every one in the cafe, and that he was 
the object of general interest, rose to his feet and 
demanded an explanation. The man answered 
insolently, and the officer, seeing with whom he had 
to deal, and infuriated by the disastrous tangle in 
which he had innocently become involved, hastily 
left the cafe, intending to report the matter to head- 
quarters. As ill-luck would have it, his opponent 
had meanwhile been thrust out of a side door by the 
indignant proprietor of the cafe, and the two men 
came suddenly face to face at the corner. Whether 
the civihan meant to attack or not is uncertain. 
At any rate the officer saw in this reappearance a 
further intention to insult him, and, drawing his 
sword, ran his aggressor through the body. Accord- 
ing to the laws which govern his profession, he 
acted in the only way possible, but he was none the 
less severely punished, and afterwards sent out to 



THE DUEL 123 

East Africa to a certain death, not because he had 
killed the civihan, but because he had mixed in 
society which was not fitting for a man wearing 
the King's uniform, and had allowed the quarrel 
to reach a stage where he could not have acted 
otherwise. 

It can be imagined that under these conditions 
the officer in imiform is chary of all civihan society 
which is in the least " mixed," and is never to be 
seen in any but first-class restaurants and places of 
amusement. All this has helped to close him in a 
narrow, exclusive circle, cutting him ofi from all 
; other classes, and making him, as I shall attempt to 
describe him in the next chapter, a man apart. 



CHAPTEE IX 

THE COAT OF MANY COLOURS 

THERE are four regiments stationed in Karls- 
ruhe, two Artillery, one Dragoon, and one 
Grenadier, beside what is called a Telegraphabtei- 
lung, and a battahon of Army Service Corps, forming 
in all a force of about five thousand men and two 
hundred officers. You would expect, therefore, to 
find the principal street bright with uniforms, and 
to breathe a highly miUtary atmosphere. As a 
matter of fact you would scarcely notice that you 
were in a garrison town at all, unless you were led 
to the gates of the barracks ; and you can wander up 
and down the Kaiser Strasse for hours at the busiest 
time of the day, and perhaps meet a couple of officers 
and a handful of privates all on business bound. 
This fact is all the more remarkable because you 
meet every one on the Kaiser Strasse ; it is a sort of 
pubhc at-home, so that if you particularly want to 
see a friend without going to the bother of calling, 
you need only parade the street at a certain hour of 
the day to attain your purpose. But the officer is 
a rma avis among the Bummelers. You can have 
a dozen acquaintances in a regiment and never 
meet a single one of them out-of-doors, except per- 
haps on the way to the opera in the evening. Where, 

124 



THE COAT OF MANY COLOURS 125 

then, are these two hundred wearers of the " Bunten 
Eock/' and what is their life that they cannot 
afford the time to take their sociable stroll hke 
other mortals ? Such was the question I once 
asked a young Ueutenant at a dance. He was the 
picture of physical weariness, and though he 
danced and talked with heroic tenacity, one could 
see that he was ready to sink into the nearest chair 
and sleep the sleep of the dead. He looked at me 
reproachfully. 

" What I do all day ? " he said. " Would you 
really like to know ? " 

I assured him that it would interest me ex- 
tremely, and he proceeded with the day's pro- 
gramme. 

" I get up at half-past six in the morning. At 
half-past seven I am all ready for the march with 
the troops, with whom I exercise until half-past ten. 
At eleven I have my riding lessons, which last until 
half-past twelve. From one o'clock to three is 
pause. At three o'clock I instruct the under- 
officers in history and strategy. At five o'clock I 
have my first sohd meal, and can have my bath 
and change my imiform. From six to seven I 
hold a lecture to the recruits. After that I can go 
to the opera, unless I am too tired, or invited or 
commanded to some mihtary function, in which 
case I cannot reckon on more than four or five 
hours' sleep. Later on I am going in for the stafi 
examination, and then I don't see how I am going 
to get to bed at all." 

He said all this with a cheerfulness which was 
ahnost pathetic, taken in connection with his boyish 



126 MY GERMAN YEAR 

face, and he then threw ofi his weariness to relate 
to me all the details of his soldier's Hfe, his love for 
his work, his interest in his recruits, his hopes for 
the future. Gradually, as I listened to him, I 
forgot his extreme youth. Beneath the enthusiasm 
there was already the deeper note of a solemn re- 
sponsibiUty, the knowledge that the uniform he 
wore was the outward symbol of a sacred trust. 
I met him again two or three years later, when the 
novelty of his life had worn ofi, and although he 
could not have been more than twenty-two, all his 
boyishness was gone, all the overflow of enthusiasm. 
The enthusiasm was still there, but it had become 
the stern, controlled enthusiasm of a fully developed 
man, who has already weathered the troubles, 
disappointments, and trials of a strenuous career. 
It was impossible to imagine him indulging in 
some mad youthful prank or running into any form 
of excess. His Duty — the great fetish of the 
German soldier — demanded his mind and body and 
soul. No doubt he was an extreme case, the type 
of ambition which is always feverish to be getting 
on; and no doubt there are many of his comrades 
who are content merely to do what they must and 
take the pleasures that ofier themselves, but it 
would not be too much to say that the lazy good-for- 
nothing does not and cannot exist in the German 
Army — or if he exists, it is only for a short breathing 
space, until the inevitable time comes when the 
eyes of the powers-that-be pass critically over his 
career, and he is weeded out with the most merciless 
promptitude. It does not often happen that this 
weeding process is necessary, for the simple reason 



THE COAT OF MANY COLOURS 127 

that before a young man is allowed to don his 
Heutenant's epaulettes he has already been through 
a severe test as regards his mental and moral 
standards. The tests are threefold. Either he has 
been brought up in the Cadettensehule — the most 
economical way — from whence he passes into the 
army as ensign, or he is prepared in the Gymnasium, 
and must serve first as a common soldier, working 
his way up to the rank of lieutenant, or he may 
enter through the " back door," as it is called. 
The latter possibihty comes into consideration in 
the case of an Einjahriger (an ordinary civiUan 
serving his year with the colours), who, having shown 
a strong liking and talent for the mihtary profession, 
and having won the favour of his superiors, is invited 
to remain. This does not often happen, however. 
The first two entrances are the most usual, though 
it does not by any means follow that they are open 
to everybody. An officer who had been commanded 
as instructor to the Cadettenhaus told me that out 
of ten boys under his charge only one had actually 
become an officer. Either through mental, physical, 
or moral unfitness the other nine were all weeded 
out before they actually took their places in the 
army. They were not necessarily bad, weak, or 
stupid — they simply had not the pecuhar virtues 
which a German officer must possess. Absolute 
veracity, self-control, punctuaUty, a high concep- 
tion of duty, and the Standesehre, and a certain 
personal dignity, is the least which is expected. It 
goes without saying that good birth is among the 
first requirements. In most cases it is necessary 
to have two relations in the army, who stand as a 



128 MY GERMAN YEAR 

sort of guarantee, but if the family prove unex- 
ceptionable, this rule can be dispensed with. In 
any case, whether the candidate seek his admission 
through the Cadettenschule, or the Gymnasium, or 
the back door, whether he has protection and high 
birth, or whether he has no protection, and is the 
plainest of the plain family of Miiller, he has one 
final barrier to surmount over which no human 
power, not even that of the Emperor, can help him. 
If in the course of his ensign's career he has made 
himself unpopular, or has shown unfavourable 
quahties, the ofiicers of the regiment to which he is 
attached black-ball him at his election, and there is 
the end of his miUtary activity. It is indeed 
sufficient for one vote against his admission into 
the brotherhood to shut him out for ever, though it 
must be understood that the vote may not be given 
without a proper and proven reason. The ofiicer 
who votes out of spite runs the very real risk of 
being cashiered himself, so that a young fellow who 
is really fitted for his future post has nothing to 
fear from the judgment of his comrades. This 
power which is given into the hands of the 
officer's corps has successfully stemmed the in- 
vasion of the Jew and the parvenu, and it has 
helped to make the bond of comradeship closer and 
stronger. 

And the hfe of the German officer, once his 
admission has been secured, of what does it consist 
that it should be looked upon by so many as the 
most enivable ? It is often a brilhant misery, a 
brilUant show, and behind the scenes strenuous, 
imremitting labour, poor prospects, a hand-to-hand 



THE COAT OF MANY COLOURS 129 

struggle with poverty. For the officer, Hke the 
aristocrat, is rarely a man of means ; his pay is 
absolutely inadequate and remains inadequate even 
in the highest posts, and yet he must always repre- 
sent his position worthily: he must wear spotless 
uniforms, he must ride good horses, he must take his 
share in the Hfe of his comrades, he must never be 
seen either in a place of refreshment or amusement 
that is not first-class — inevitably in price as well as 
in quahty. The pay of a careful heutenant in a hne 
regiment may cover his bare mihtary expenses — 
his uniforms, mess bills, subscriptions, etc., but it 
will do no more than that, and it is therefore a law 
that no one can become an officer without a guaran- 
tee " Zulage " of at least £3 a month. This is the 
very least — it is granted by the Emperor in deserving 
cases — but it is the most pitiful penury. I heard of 
one young officer, in a crack regiment in BerHn, who 
existed on this sum, and the tale of his struggles 
has always aroused my deepest admiration. He 
even washed his pocket-handkerchiefs himself, and 
cleaned his white kid gloves with benzine, and Hved 
on food which would make the British workman 
even sorrier for himself than he is. Yet he was one 
of the smartest men of his regiment ! This is, of 
course, an extreme case, and was only possible in 
earher and cheaper days, but in modified degrees the 
same heroic struggle is to be found everjrwhere. 
And then there is the blank hopelessness of it all. 
An ordinarily intelHgent man has no prospects. 
The advancement is painfully slow — he is generally 
ten to fourteen years a Heutenant — and in the 
ordinary course of events the Emperor will graciously 
9 



130 MY GERMAN YEAR 

dispense with his services in the best years of his hf e. 
He may, perhaps, reach the rank of major or 
heutenant-colonel, and then one fine morning he 
will wake up to find the fatal blue letter on his 
table and know that his career is finished; that 
hale, hearty, hard-working, and faithful though he 
may be, his country has no more need of him. " Going 
to bed with the helmet and waking up with the top- 
hat," is the ofiicer's whimsical description of the 
incident. But in reality this is the tragedy of 
German military Hfe, and it is one to which most 
must look forward. An intelligence even well above 
the average is not sufficient to guarantee a successful, 
much less a brilhant, career. For one good post there 
are always a hundred candidates; and what good 
does it do B. if he has done well in his examination 
if A. has done better ? The prize is not for him. 
And what of A.'s career ? It is not said that now 
he has been passed into the Staff College his 
success is estabhshed. Without means, without 
family, he is still unhkely to rise to any high 
post. Study the Eanghste, and you will find 
that the generals, commanders, and so on are all 
men of noble birth, and only under exceptional 
circumstances is the necessary (not hereditary) 
patent of nobility granted to a talented bourgeois 
ofiicer. 

So much for the prospects. Added to the hope- 
lessness of the average officer's outlook, there is the 
strenuous, ahnost unremitting, duty, its exhausting 
monotony, the short, insignificant respites. The 
authorities recognise the brain-kilHng propensities 
of the daily routine, and as much as possible is done 



THE COAT OF MANY COLOURS 131 

to give the officer a chance to see the world and to 
gain experience and relaxation. There are " Com- 
mandos " abroad for the officer who wishes to study 
languages, Commandos in Berhn, Hanover, and so on, 
and the officer who can afford it is always given leave 
to travel and hunt even in the most remote corners 
of the hemisphere. But how many officers can 
afiord such luxuries ? And the officer who has been 
granted one brilhant Commando — say to the riding- 
school in Hanover for a year — need hope for no 
more hon boucJies of that sort for a long time to 
come. So the daily round goes on. In Karlsruhe 
the life is comparatively full of relaxation. At a 
dinner party in Berhn, where officers from a dozen 
different regiments were gathered together, a civihan 
observed that they had all grumbled about their 
garrisons except a certain Lieutenant X., who had 
Hstened to the complainings with a smile of sweet 
content. 

" That would be the last straw if he 
grumbled ! " retorted a Hussar captain. ''He is 
stationed at Karlsruhe. There isn't one of us 
who wouldn't crawl on his knees backwards to get 
there ? " 

No doubt the Karlsruhe civihan would shake 
his head over such a reckless statement, but the 
officer is less spoilt and the despised Residenz is a 
wildly exciting spot, a mihtary paradise, compared 
to the garrisons of some of the best regiments. 
Here, at least, the officer is the enfant gdtd at Court 
and in Society. He has more invitations than he 
can accept, and if he should have an evening free he 
has a seat in the opera practically without charge. 



132 MY GERMAN YEAR 

It is very different with some of his less fortunate 
comrades. Far away on the desolate Russian 
frontier, in miserable villages where there is no 
house to which a man could bring his wife and 
children, out of reach of all human intercourse 
outside the regiment, hundreds of ofhcers, belonging 
to crack regiments for the most part, are spending the 
best years of their Hfe with only the faintest prospect 
of one day being transferred — perhaps to some 
garrison a degree worse ! These garrisons are the 
most dangerous for the young officer. It is there 
that in pure desperation he is tempted to drink 
and gambling, though he knows that both vices 
are his sure undoing. Even if the commander 
at his own risk ventures to close an eye to the 
conduct of his officers, his sin is bound to find 
him out. There comes the pitiless strain of the 
manoeuvres, and only he who is fit in mind and 
body can pass through the ordeal in safety. 
The yearly manoeuvres are, in fact, the high 
test which is put to the whole body and to each 
individual. It is the great winnowing time of 
the German Army. When the two months are 
over the *' Blue Letters " are as plentiful as 
leaves in autumn. Generals who have failed to 
distinguish themselves, colonels whose regiments 
have lacked smartness, captains who have " muddled,'* 
sometimes even Heutenants — they all go through the 
unpleasant experience which I have already de- 
scribed as exchanging the helmet for the top-hat. 
Consequently the profligate and the incapable is 
the great exception, and his career is short and 
disastrous. He is like a badly working cog in an 



THE COAT OF MANY COLOURS 133 

immense piece of machinery, and he is promptly 
taken out, thrown on the rubbish heap, and replaced 
by another and better. 

" All actions which can injure the reputation of 
the individual or of the whole body, especially all 
dissipation, drinking, gambhng, the acceptation of 
obhgations which might have the appearance of dis- 
honesty, risky speculations, participation in the 
promotion of companies whose purpose and reputa- 
tion is not irreproachable, also all efforts to obtain 
wealth by means not clearly above all criticism, 
these must the officer hold far from him. The 
more wealth and luxury increase elsewhere, the 
more serious does the officer's duty become, never 
to forget that it is not material possessions which 
has given him and will continue to give him his 
high and honoured place in the State and in Society. 
Not alone is the officer's fitness injured by an 
effeminate mode of Hfe, but his whole standing will 
be endangered by the struggle after wealth and 
luxury." 

Such is the Emperor's grave warning, and it has 
proved more than a warning. Luxury, ostentation, 
all forms of dissipation, have been put down with an 
iron hand, and the officers' Corps is a model for the 
nation and the world in the stern fuffilment of 
its hard duty, in its self-sacrifice, its self-control, 
its seK-abnegation. The officer Hterally dedicates 
his whole Hfe to his profession. He may not 
even marry without the Emperor's consent, and 
that cannot be obtained until he has proved 
that his future wife brings with her a good 
name and a spotless reputation, and that he has 



134 MY GERMAN YEAR 

sufficient wealth to keep her as his position 
demands. 

And the return for this absolute surrender — the 
reward ? Material reward there is none ; there is 
only this, that the officer is looked upon and 
treated as a man apart, as the bearer and pro- 
tector of the national honour, as a great high priest 
whose vestment is the symbol of the noblest human 
calling. Accustom yourself to this standpoint, and 
you will understand why it is expressly commanded 
that an officer shall only associate in the best society, 
that he must keep himself clean from all possible 
contamination, and that should he become con- 
taminated he must be prepared to pay for the injury 
done to his calling with his hfe. He is the Levite 
of the nation, and in return for his renunciations he 
is granted certain privileges. The first and greatest 
of these is his position in Society. The officer has 
the entree into every social circle no matter how 
exalted ; he is the comrade of his Emperor, he is 
respected by all classes save those which regard 
national honour as of no account. From the moment 
that Herr Schmidt dons the King's coat his whole 
position in the world changes — he has become 
somebody, he can no longer be ignored. This 
immense respect which is shown to the uniform 
would be a danger if the man who wore it were 
unworthy of respect, but in truth the veneration 
with which the officer is treated is by no means 
blind, and has not its source in a morbid worship 
of militarism. It is because the average German 
officer is a man of high principles, clean living, and 
clean thinking that the uniform has come to be 



THE COAT OF MANY COLOURS 135 

looked upon as a guarantee, a hall-mark. There 
is, as in everything, the shadowy side. There are 
men who enter the Army simply to obtain the 
position it gives, though that type of soldier soon 
wearies of the privilege when he finds at what cost 
it must be bought; there are youngsters enough 
who give themselves great airs over their civilian 
brothers. In a German Witzblatt I remember 
seeing a picture of a Prussian lieutenant standing 
at the foot of Mont Blanc, stroking the vestige of 
a moustache, and contemplating the mighty moun- 
tain with a haughty eye. 

" Donnerwetter ! how ridiculously small a civiHan 
must feel ! "' is his only remark, and there is enough 
truth in the jest to make one laugh heartily. But 
his arrogance is simply a malady of youth and 
disappears with the lieutenant's epaulettes. On 
the whole one is surprised at the simplicity and 
unaffectedness of the average German officer. The 
lieutenant may seem a trifle conceited when you 
observe him on the street — and, indeed, show me 
the young man who would not feel a twinge of 
self-satisfaction when his uniform is so new and 
fits his sHght figure to perfection ? — but once you 
get to know him this impression vanishes. He is the 
cavaher far excellence, unfailing in his courtly pohte- 
ness, but neither stiff nor pretentious. As I write 
a vivid picture arises out of my many memories of a 
little dance we gave in the course of this winter. 
There were six or seven lieutenants from the same 
regiment present — not boys by any means, most 
of them being well over twenty-five — and in an 
interval they were set down to a competition in — 



136 MY GERMAN YEAR 

hat trimming ! The results after the allotted ten 
minutes were quite remarkable ; a straw toque 
with a green veil behind ("to keep off sunstroke/' 
as the originator proudly explained to the mystified 
judge), pink and yellow roses clustered in front, and 
a blue ribbon was one of the most effective efforts. 
But the picture of a six-foot, broad-shouldered 
officer huddled together in a remote corner strugghng 
with a needle and cotton and refractory ribbons can 
still bring tears of laughter to my eyes. After- 
wards they played musical-chairs and the Queen of 
Sheba with the energy and enthusiasm of school- 
boys. I hasten to tender my apologies ; I am 
sure no self-respecting schoolboy would have 
lowered himself sufficiently to have indulged in 
the childish amusements of those grown men, one 
of them already burdened with the responsibilities 
of an adjutancy. I must add, however, that had a 
number of civihans been present they would scarcely 
have acted as they did ; it was only because they 
were entre eux that they felt they could relax 
from the dignity which their uniform requires of 
them in public Hfe. 

Such, then, is the arrogant, Schwert-rasselender 
Prussian officer ; let us now pass on to the great 
force at whose head he stands, and consider what 
the units are worth and how it fares with them. I 
have seen the German soldier in a good many differ- 
ent aspects. I have seen him assisting the poHce 
against an excited mob ; I have seen him helping our 
elderly Karlsruhe firemen in the midst of a big 
conflagration. I have seen him dancing with his 
Schatz at the Kaiser Ball ; I have seen him in his 



c e e « € 
t c c 5c . 




THE COAT OF MANY COLOURS 137 

very best at the Kaiser Parade and at his very best 
in the stress of the manoeuvres, and I flatter myself 
that I know him very fairly. He is not an elegant 
individual ; in south Germany, where the whole 
race is smaller, he is of middle height, thick-set, 
somewhat clumsy of build, the latter feature empha- 
sised by his uniform, which, though excellent in 
material, fits a feu fr^s only. But he is the picture 
of health and sturdy strength. As you watch the 
Grenadiers on Sunday morning marching to the 
mihtary church, you are struck less by the individual 
smartness as by the respectability, the honesty and 
orderhness of character, which each weather-beaten 
young face expresses. You feel that these are not 
show soldiers, they are not paraded through the 
town as a sort of national advertisment ; they are 
the sturdy bulwark of their country, the best 
elements which the people can produce being trained 
not only to fight but to hve a healthy, decent Hfe. 
And as they look so they are. I remember last 
summer reading an account of the German manoeuvres, 
in which the EngHsh writer expressed his admiration 
for the German soldier's powers of endurance and, 
above all. of his sobriety and orderliness not only 
on duty but in his amusements. He mentioned 
that during the whole time he had been with 
the troops he had not seen one drunken or dis- 
orderly soldier. I was gratified to find my own 
experience thus endorsed by one of my own country- 
men. It happened that in that same summer the 
Kaiser Parade took place in our neighbourhood, so 
that a whole Army Corps — 35,000 men — were 
stationed in and about Karlsruhe. During the 



138 MY GERMAN YEAR 

three days in which we were thus inundated, the 
town, though ahve with different uniforms, was 
absolutely quiet and orderly. There were no cases 
of drunkenness or rowdiness — a church festival 
could not have been more sober. At to the Parade 
itself, it was a sight which could not but excite even 
the most critical foreigner to unbounded admiration. 
It was not the mere incident of the march past — 
most armies can manage that much — but it was 
the perfect disciphne, the good-humour of the troops, 
their whole-hearted participation in this great 
event, which was like a breath of fresh clean air. 
One could see as they tramped past our carriage 
on the way to their assigned positions on the field, 
that each one of them was impressed with his own 
importance, his own power to help his superiors 
to the Emperor's praise. And surely even the 
Emperor — severe critic though he is supposed to be — 
must have been well satisfied on that day. There 
was not a hitch, not a fault, not an instant's con- 
fusion, each man moving as though he were the 
incorporate part of his neighbour ; an immense 
piece of machinery seemed to come to life at a word, 
a signal. " Machinery ! " says the foreign critic 
with a self-satisfied shake of the head. " Yes, 
that typifies the German soldier — a piece of 
machinery without initiative." Possibly the critic is 
right. I do not think either that if the German 
soldier J were left to his own devices that he 
would perform any feats of strategy — it is not ex- 
pected of him. The officers are the brains and the 
soldiers are the body, and it is not desirable that 
either should attempt the work of the other. Abso- 



THE COAT OF MANY COLOURS 139 

lute blind obedience and discipline is the first and 
greatest virtue of the German soldier, and the 
\ Franco-Prussian war proved that it was worth 
^ more than the individual intelligence of the French- 
man. 

As to the methods by which the German is trained 
to this state of perfection, I can quite well believe it 
when I am told that the two years which the common 
man spends with the troops are the happiest and 
, healthiest in his life. Certainly at no other time is 
\ he so well clothed, well fed, and well looked after. 
\ I am speaking now of the ordinary private — " Frei- 
wilHger." The Einjahriger, that is to say the 
educated man who has passed a certain examination 
and need only serve one year, has no doubt his bad 
moments. It is without doubt an excellent discipline, 
but it cannot be always agreeable to share the life, 
even to the sleeping quarters, of the common soldier, 
and to be helpless before the abuse of the under- 
officer, who not seldom takes a spiteful delight in 
exercising his temporary authority over his social 
superior. " Words, not deeds,'" however, is the 
extent of the bullying to which the private as well as 
the Einjahriger has to submit. The under-officer 
may pour out his whole vocabulary over the head 
of the raw, and usually very stupid, recruit, but the 
brutaHty with which the German soldier is supposed 
to be treated is a mere fable. The few cases of 
misused authority are always severely punished, 
and are not more frequent than in any other branch 
of Hfe. The officer himseK is on excellent terms with 
his men. The Burschen (orderHes) are usually 
devoted to their superiors and their families, whom 



140 MY GERMAN YEAR 

they serve in every conceivable capacity from butler 
to nurse-maid. At no time can one judge so well 
of the relations between officers and men as at the 
Kaiser Ball, where the soldier plays the leading part. 
That he is not a broken-spirited, driven, buUied 
victim of militarism is obvious. At the opening of 
the proceedings a military play is given in which he 
glories in the part of the officer, taking off the 
characteristics and eccentricities of some particular 
personage, to the delight of the officer's Corps, even 
of the object himself. Afterwards comes the 
dancing. Each soldier may bring one " lady " 
friend, who is regaled with sausage and beer free of 
charge. Her cavalier's first act is to bring her up to 
his favourite Heutenant, and at attention, with a broad 
grin on his healthy, red face ask, " Ob der Herr 
Lieutenant nicht mit der Meinen tanzen nochte ? " 
(" If the Herr Lieutenant would not Hke to dance 
with his girl ? ") And the Heutenant waltzes ofi 
with the blushing Kttle housemaid, whilst the soldier, 
who would not have parted with her to an equal for 
all the riches in the world, stands aside ready to 
burst with pride and delight. Afterwards the 
lieutenants dance with all the leading ladies in turn, 
the under-officers' wives and so on, and woe to him 
who through an oversight misses out one of the 
fair and jealous partners ! When this social duty is 
over the officers disappear, and the under-officers 
advance to the position of the " great men '* of the 
evening. 

I have had sufficient opportunity to study the 
relations between the private and the under-officer, 
not only at the Kaiser Ball, but on the exercising 






J J J > - 



.« • • - • 



• • • 

• • • 

•• • 



t c e • t • 



r-- 




THE COAT OF MANY COLOURS 141 

ground and in the bivouac, and the tone has always 
seemed to be one of open good-comradeship. I 
remember after the Kaiser Parade we were allowed 
to wander through the camp of a regiment on its 
way back to the garrison. Zeppelin iii. was expected 
every minute, and the soldiers were sitting and 
lying in little groups singing their songs, and keeping 
a sharp look-out in the direction from whence the 
air -ship was expected to appear. The under- 
officers mingled with the men, joined in the singing, 
exchanged jokes, drank with them, and it was 
obvious that disHke or fear were out of the question. 
No doubt the under-officer is something of a martinet 
in work time, and a fine stickler for exactitude, but I 
do not fancy that the ordinary German soldier feels 
himself particularly injured when he is told after the 
twentieth blunder that he is a sheep's head, an 
imbecile, an idiot, a donkey, etc. Perhaps he thinks 
so himself. This abuse is just what he understands, 
and it must be said that in his turn the under-officer 
gets his share — in fact, the criticism goes down the 
scale, adapting itself to the rank of the criticised 
with amusing exactness. At a manoeuvre a regi- 
ment fails to distinguish itself — the general calls the 
colonel to him — 

" Lieber Kamarad, a Httle more smartness is 
necessary — the men are too slow. I should be 
grateful if you would see your way to efiecting an 
improvement." 

They shake hands. The colonel calls the major 
to him — 

" Herr Major, his Excellency has expressed his 
dissatisfaction over the conduct of the troops — the 



142 MY GERMAN YEAR 

wretched crawling and slovenliness particularly 
attracted his notice. I trust you will assist me in 
correcting these failings." 

The major salutes and calls the captains to him — 

"' Meine Herrn ! the colonel is furious with the 
disgraceful management of the men. It is unheard 
of — I must request you both by word and example 
to bring the regiment back to its old smartness. 
This sort of thing cannot go on. It is the duty of 
the yoimger officers/' etc. etc. 

The captains to the heutenants — 

" The colonel is beside himself about yesterday ; 
never saw such a wretched performance in his Hfe. 
The leading and behaviour of the men was beneath 
all criticism. There must be an improvement in 
these matters. It is the duty of the heutenant," 
etc. etc. 

The Heutenants to the under-officers — 

" What's the matter with your men ? Miserable 
performance ! Can't you bring them up to the mark 
better than that ? Upon my word, I'm ashamed of 
the lot of you, and if there isn't a change for the 
better in less than no time " 

Under-officers to their men — 

" You idiots, you dolts, you sheep's head, 

you — " 

But the English language cannot keep pace with 
the imder-officers' vocabulary, which is rich and 
lurid. However, the storm blows over at last, and 
nobody's feehngs are wounded beyond healing. 

That the two years with the troops is beneficial 
for the common man is undeniable. At the begin- 
ning of the miUtary year you can often see a crowd 



THE COAT OF MANY COLOURS 143 

of sloppy, underfed, bow-legged, round-shouldered 
youths being marched off from the station by an 
under-officer, and a few months later you see the 
same party in uniform, straight built, well fed, 
healthy, respectable-looking fellows, who are being 
taught to hve morally and physically a decent, 
useful life. If eternal peace were signed to-morrow 
by all the nations, and Germany's Army had to 
disband, it would be a national disaster — the finest 
school in the country would be closed. As to the 
so-called mihtarism with which Germany is supposed 
to be inflicted, I can only say that in no other country 
in the world are military matters less fussed and 
worried over. Everybody who can, serves his time — 
it is regarded as something as natural as daily food — 
and outside the officers and under-officers there is no 
professional army. There are no hired soldiers ; 
each citizen brings a short time out of his life and 
sacrifices it to his country, and receives in return a 
physical and moral training which should fit him all 
the better for a citizen's career. This seems to me 
no more militarism than compulsory education. In 
England no one seems to think it an encroachment 
on the pubHc hberty to force children up to a certain 
age to learn ; after that — ^in the most important 
years of their fife — ^they are allowed to run wild, and f 
the State washes its hands of them. In Germany \ 
the State takes up the threads of its responsibility 
a second time, and, having trained the child, proceeds 
to train the man. If in this training it recompenses 
itself by building up an overwhelming force with 
which to protect itself, it need not, on that account, 
be accused of undue militarism. It can only be 



144 MY GERMAN YEAR 

congratulated on having successfully killed two 
birds with one stone. 

We have now considered the units which go to 
make up the Emperor's army. In conclusion I can 
only add that no statistics can reveal its full strength 
and striking power. The German Army is the 
result of a steady and uninterrupted development. 
It has not been and cannot be checked by changes 
of government; it has not been subjected to the 
eccentricities and fads of varying civilian muddlers. 
It has its fixed and tested system on which it has 
been built up and on which it continues to grow, 
UnUke the French Army of 1870, and unhke many 
European armies of to-day, its resources are not 
. only on paper — they actually exist. On the first of 
May each year the great mobilisation plans are 
given out, and every single department is tested 
to prove its absolute readiness and efficiency. There 
are no " paper " horses, " paper " ammunition, 
" paper "" uniforms, and — worst of all — ** paper "' 
men. Everything is there " to the last button on 
the gaiter,^' as an officer proudly boasted to me: 
and if war were declared with an hour's notice the 
Emperor would only have to give the signal, and in 
an instant the whole immense machinery would be 
in movement. Every officer has his sealed orders, 
and every detail is arranged even to the transport 
trains and the hours at which they leave for the 
different frontiers. 

The Germans boast that their navy is governed 
by the same complete readiness and efficiency, 
and that the health and "moral" of their soldiers 
and sailors have no equivalent in the world. Most 






» ■» * f. 



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c e « « "• « 
c c « • » « « 



cc ^e,cce « 




THE COAT OF MANY COLOURS 145 

nations claim this superiority, but what I have 
seen leads me to the conclusion that the German 
has every right to his pride and every reason to look 
upon his Army as " model/' and upon his Navy as a 
force of growing and incalculable possibiUties. 



10 






CHAPTEB X 

THE GEEMAN WOMAN 

/* TTINDBE, Kirche, und Kiiche" is supposed to 
-LV be the adage of the German woman. I do not 
know who invented it, but I should Hke to ask 
that person how he came to add " Kirche "" to the 
list, or if it was only for the sake of the alKteration. 
Children and the kitchen — yes, perhaps — but church ? 
With the adage clearly printed in my mind, I have 
been constantly on the look-out for some proof of its 
veracity, but hitherto have found none. Perhaps 
it is a sajdng which, hke so many others, belongs to a 
time long past, and has been dragged on into the 
present without anybody taking the trouble to 
consider whether it is still true. Or perhaps it refers 
t to the sterner northern woman, who takes all her 
r duties with a greater earnestness, though even this 
latter theory seems to me unUkely. For the German 
lady — according to my observations — worries less 
about church than any other lady in the world. 
That is not to say that she is irrehgious — quite the 
contrary ; but if she attends morning service once a 
week for an hour, she considers herself a tremendous 
churchgoer; and if she assists in the choir, which 
sings on great occasions, she is looked upon as a person 
of extreme piety and devotion. On the other hand, 

146 



THE GERMAN WOMAN 147 

there are in Karlsruhe hundreds of women — especi- 
ally of the better class — who go to church occasion- 
ally, sometimes only at Christmas and Easter, and 
who are looked upon as perfectly respectable 
Christian people. They do their duty by the 
Church, they pay their taxes, they send the clergy- 
man food and clothes for his charities, they are on 
bowing, and perhaps on calling, terms with him 
as a private individual, but he plays no active 
part in their Hves, and church decorations, parish 
work, and all the small practical duties with which 
an EngUshwoman of leisure loves to load herself, 
are practically unknown. I say " practically " for 
safety's sake, for it is just possible that in some 
remote corner of Karlsruhe some busy little body is 
endeavouring to become the Pffarer's right hand, 
but I have not yet met her, and her existence is a 
pure surmise. 

It is quite true that the churches are always 
overcrowded, and by far the greater part with 
women, but it is a noted fact that Karlsruhe is too 
poorly provided in this respect, and in other towns, 
Frankfurt and Mannhein for instance, the case is 
very different. Of course I am speaking of the 
Protestant German woman ; the CathoHc is com- 
pelled by her rehgion to keep to a more frequent 
attendance. The German State Church is broad in 
the broadest sense, and allows its children to do and 
think very much what they like. Hence, if Frau 
Schmidt does not go to church every Sunday morn- 
ing, the fact is not made the subject of a nine days' 
scandal, nor does the clergyman come round to 
inquire the reason of her non-attendance. As in 



148 MY GERMAN YEAR 

everything, so in the matter of religion the German 
refuses to accept the great maxim that you must 
always judge by appearances, and Frau Schmidt^s 
neighbours would no more think of condemning 
her morahty on the strength of her irregular church- 
going than they would think of questioning her 
position in society on the strength of her shabby 
and old-fashioned clothes. On the whole, the chief 
churchgoers are servants, young girls, and old 
women. I strongly suspect the girls of going 
because they must, and the old women of going 
because it affords such an excellent opportunity to 
gossip before the service begins, but I may be doing 
both a glaring injustice, and will not insist upon the 
point. Society women are rarely, if ever, seen, unless 
they come with the Court as a matter of duty. The 
truth is that the main reason which brings most 
society women to church does not exist in this 
part of the world. Nobody comes to show ofi 
their fine feathers. To go into a west-end churcF 
here, is to receive an impression of dowdy respecta- 
biUty, and if Mrs. Jones with a bevy of friends in 
Sunday furs and furbelows were to sail magnificently 
down the aisle, I think they would cause something 
like a panic. In my mind's eye I can see a dozen 
heads wagged in doubt and alarm. " Das ist eine 
eigentiimhche Gesellschaft ! " the usual congrega- 
tion would murmur at the bottom of its sober soul, 
thereby inferring that Mrs. Jones and her fashionable 
party were distinctly " shady " characters. Thus 
the woman who lives for clothes — if she exists in 
Germany — finds no attraction in churchgoing, and 
the rest do just what they like, unbound by the 



THE GERMAN WOMAN 149 

mighty law of custom, and unthreatened by the 
terrors of parish and neighbourly criticism. 

So much for the "Kirche" part of the adage, 
which — as I have said at the beginning of the 
chapter — I much suspect of having been added on 
because it begins with " k " and harmonises agree- 
ably with " Kinder." The other two clauses require 
more serious consideration because they do still play 
a very important part in the German woman's Hfe — 
a very important part, but by no means an exclusive 
one. All German girls are brought up with the idea 
that they will in all probabihty get married, or, at 
any rate, that it will be entirely their own fault if 
they do not. The average German is a decidedly 
family man, and is thankful if he can get a wife at 
all, so that a girl must be a pauper and a deformity 
combined not to be able to marry if she wants to. 
As a rule, she still " wants," and, as a rule, she 
marries very early in Hfe. It is quite usual for her to 
enter into society at seventeen and be married at 
eighteen, and a girl of twenty-five who has not yet 
settled down is looked upon in the light of a con- 
firmed spinster. There was a time when her con- 
dition would have been regarded by her friends with 
pity and a mild disparagement — the unmarried 
woman was in fact a woman who had completely 
failed in her life's vocation — but, nowadays, public 
opinion is beginning to turn. It is recognised by a 
certain party of both sexes that a woman can have 
another reason for her existence besides marriage, 
and that it can be an equally good reason. I know 
quite a number of girls who are studying for some 
profession, and who frankly admit that their Kves 



150 MY GERMAN YEAR 

are so interesting, their work so absorbing, that they 
do not care whether they get married or not, and are 
entirely opposed to the idea of marriage as the goal 
of a woman's existence. *' If the right man comes, 
well and good — if not, I am perfectly satisfied as I 
am,"" is their verdict. 

These are the talented people, consequently in 
the minority, and the class of girl who, without 
talent, is yet striving for some market for her energy, 
is still too small to be reckoned with in Germany. 
Those who have no particular bent accept marriage 
as the one profession open to them. Thus German 
women can be divided into two groups — those who 
are blessed with talent and a profession, and those 
who have neither and marry. The latter, the 
majority, should be considered first, as it is to them 
that the adage, " Kinder, Kirche, and Kiiche,'" is 
apphed, and it is of them that the foreigner im- 
mediately thinks when he is asked to describe the 
German woman. I know so well the picture that 
arises before his mind's eye — a big, portly woman, 
very fat, very " comfortable,'' with red cheeks, fair 
hair — ^very badly done — and enough intelhgence to 
look after the kitchen and keep the children in order. 
She is her husband's unpaid housekeeper, she sees 
to his dinner, mends his clothes, does up his boots 
even in the street (I have heard this statement 
made in all seriousness !), and generally does her best 
to pay for the honour he has done her in making her 
his wife. This picture reminds me very much of the 
qheck-suited horror which I have already described 
as the type of Enghshman which the foreigner 
accepts as typical. It is not to be denied that the 



THE GERMAN WOMAN 151 

average German woman of the educated class is not 
a lovely or elegant person. In Karlsruhe, for in- 
stance, there are pretty children by the dozens, and 
the most beautiful old women I have ever seen, but a 
beautiful young woman is a rarity. The first in- 
voluntary question of an observant stranger is always, 
'' Where do all the pretty children go to, and where 
do all the charming old ladies come from ? " — a 
question not hard to answer. The children turn into 
women with good, even nobly cut, features, excep- 
tionally fine eyes, but — ^neglected complexions and 
neglected figures, faults which, in the prime of life, 
count for more than anything. Later on, the old 
lady appears with her fine features and eyes, and no 
one notices the defects which spoilt the woman. 
The German woman's unattractiveness is therefore 
entirely her own fault. Her lack of smartness in 
dress, and her indifference to physical culture, is in 
fact her curse. As regards dress, she is nowhere 
very brilhant, and in Karlsruhe, where the "Fashion " 
is always so unfashionable that a feminine stranger 
must feel quite rejuvenated when she walks through 
the streets, she is positively dowdy. She seems born 
without any sort of taste where dress is concerned. 
Poverty cannot excuse her ; even when she has two 
respectable coats and skirts, she ruins both by 
wearing the coat of one with the skirt of another, 
and she is, moreover, capable of spending quite large 
sums on an atrocity which in England would stamp 
her at once as " impossible." It is only necessary 
to try and shop in Karlsruhe to understand the full 
enormity of the case. Suppose that a middle-class 
Enghshwoman with moderate means wishes to buy 



152 MY GERMAN YEAR 

herself a blouse. She cannot afford to go to the very 
highest prices, and when she tries to obtain what she 
wants with moderate prices, she finds that she has no 
choice — unless it is a choice to have to decide between 
one form of ugliness and another. If she explains 
to the shopman what she wants, he shrugs his 
shoulders regretfully : " We don't keep it — our 
customers don't care for it. But this is much 
prettier — every one is wearing it." And he produces 
an article which sends the Englishwoman away 
wondering how it is possible that a people so highly 
sensitive to beauty in all other forms can tolerate 
such eyesores in their everyday Hfe. For the 
shopman is perfectly right. " It " is worn by every- 
body — that is to say, everybody of the middle class. 
Hideous plaid blouses, red, blue, and green, like 
travelling-rugs, muddy brown coats and skirts of 
vile cut, much-bebraided black sacque coats, square- 
toed boots, nondescript hats which match every 
dress equally badly, highly coloured kid gloves 
(when they are not cotton), in summer cut-out 
blouses, shoes of the most atrocious colours under 
the sun, and last and worst of all — Reform ! What 
evil genius was it, I wonder, that hit on the German 
woman's besetting weakness, and discovered a mode 
of attire which gives it full play and encourages it 
with the excuse of " health," " hygiene," and other 
nonsense of the same sort. To let herself go, to 
take things easy, to be as comfortable as possible — 
that is the questionable physical ideal towards 
which the German woman tends. Consequently, a 
dress cut like a sack, without collar, without waist, 
\without shape, which she can shp in and out of with 



THE GERMAN WOMAN 153 

a TniniTTniTn amount of exertion and trouble, appeals 
tremendously to her. She talks a great deal about 
her health and so on, and grows stout, clumsy, 
pasty, sloppy, in fact everything that is the reverse 
of healthy. The health part of the matter has 
simply nothing to do with it. Kef orm, as it is called, 
is comfortable, and what does it matter if, at the age 
of thirty, you look like an old washerwoman, so long 
as you are comfortable ? A lady artist once told me 
that Reform was beautiful, Grecian, classic, and a 
good many other things besides, which I have not yet 
had the pleasure of observing. I have only seen 
objects which were awful — I mean awful in the true 
sense of the word, awe-inspiringly terrible. That a 
woman can consent to make such an object of her- 
self proves that as far as dress is concerned she is 
either totally indifferent or totally tasteless. In the 
German woman's case it is a httle of both. She does 
not care very much what she looks like, and conse- 
quently she never tries to learn from other people, 
or to improve her taste. She is quite capable of 
spending her days in the same dress if it would only 
last out long enough. This brings me back to my 
first admission that is far from smart, that she is in 
fact dowdy, and has never really been anything else 
at any time of her life. The German backfisch — the 
equivalent to our bread-and-butter miss — is a Hvely 
wide-awake young person who does indeed pay 
some attention to her appearance, but usually 
without the smallest success. Her mother has no 
taste, and so she has no taste, and after she has 
married and her business in society over, what Httle 
chic she ever had vanishes. She is then not exactly 



154 MY GERMAN YEAR 

disorderly, everything about her — her home and 
children — is always scrupulously clean and neat, 
but one misses a certain deHcacy, a certain feminine 
charm. In a word, she is an excellent painstaking 
housekeeper, but no artist in her home hfe ; she has 
no eye for details or suitabiHties. Everything is 
soKd, good, and dull. 

On the other hand, I must defend her from the 
reputation of being no more than her husband's 
housekeeper — from an unwarrantable exaggeration 
of the '" Kinder, Earche, und Kiiche '' theory. A 
middle-class German woman certainly does mend 
her husband's clothes, and does look after the house 
and the children much more than an Englishwoman 
does. Very often she cannot afford more than one 
servant, and, even when she rises to the magnificence 
of two, she is usually so accustomed to the routine 
that she cannot give it up, and is always interfering 
in the household — a course of conduct to which, 
fortunately, most German servants are hardened. 
But there is one point which must not be over- 
looked — she is her husband's companion and his 
helpmate, and she holds a conunanding influence in 
his Hfe. She is not the submissive, worshipping, 
and bulUed slave of the fables. When the Empress 
Frederic came to Germany and announced her 
intention of raising and freeing German women, the 
latter rose en masse with the indignant protest that 
they had all the freedom and all the means to progress 
which they needed. Such is indeed the case — what 
the German woman is she is of her own free will, and 
she advances after her own fashion, winning quietly 
her position in the world by reason of her character 



THE GERMAN WOMAN 155 

and her education. For she is courageous, loyal, 
industrious, filled with the sense of her responsibiUties, 
determined, and clear headed. She is the woman 
to whom a man can turn in time of difficulty and 
trial with the knowledge that he will find in her a 
sturdy comrade, ready to share every burden and 
sacrifice. She is a direct descendant of the woman 
who, in the great days when Germany was struggUng 
for her freedom, sold their wedding-rings and wore 
rings of iron in order that the Fatherland might 
not lack the means to carry on the conflict. She 
brings sacrifices to-day, though of another sort. 
The wife, whose ofiicer husband attends Court 
functions and associates in the highest society, cooks 
his dinner, nurses and dresses the children, goes 
without every luxury in order that he may be able to 
represent his name and his position fittingly. She 
dresses shabbily, he in the smartest uniforms ; she 
restricts herself to the smallest pleasures, whilst he 
lives a Ufe of outward brilHancy. To all appear- 
ances she is an impaid housekeeper, and yet — verily 
she hath her reward. She is really her husband's 
helpmate, and this, together with the trust and 
confidence that he gives her in return, is all the 
happiness she asks of fife. She knows that he, too, 
has his hardships to bear, and she is proud that she 
can take her part in them — she has, in fact, won the 
right to share everything with him, both joy and 
sorrow. It is the same in every sphere. The wife, 
the daughter, the sister — they are all of the same 
cahbre, and they bring willingly, and not because 
they must, sacrifices to their name or their love, 
which seem almost overwhelming. And they are 



156 MY GERMAN YEAR 

by no means merely passive victims of their own 
powers of self-abnegation. I know one woman 
whose husband is a professor of high reputation. 
In spite of the fact that they have three children 
and one servant, she manages to find time to arrange 
his notes, correct his lectures, and help him with his 
instruments. She dresses disgracefully, and looks 
like a better-class servant, but she is an intelligent, 
] highly educated woman, and her life is crowded with 
( intellectual as well as domestic interest. She is an 
example taken out of a great class. On the one 
hand, she holds the home together ; a devoted mother 
and wife, she leaves no particle of her home duties 
unfulfilled ; she neglects herself. Her life, seen by the 
EngUshwoman, is full of sacrifice and hardship, but 
on the other hand, she is intellectually keenly alive. 
She can — if she will — talk to you with understanding 
on art, music, science, Uterature, even on politics, 
though the latter interest her as little as they 
interest her husband ; she is well read, and is well 
up in all the social and economical questions 
of the day ; she is, en fin, anything but a mere 
housekeeper. 

Nevertheless, though a great deal must be added 
on to the Kinder, Kirche, and Kiiche programme in 
order to obtain a correct survey of the German 
woman's interests, the two first items are very serious 
topics in her ordinary conversation. In fact, where- 
ever she goes and whatever she does, her household 
interests seem to chng to her. I remember in a 
Lohengrin performance hearing one lady whisper to 
another — 

" Horen Sie mal, Gnadige Frau, was machen Sie 



THE GERMAN WOMAN 157 

mit Ihrem Wurstzipfeln ? " (" Tell me, Mrs. , 

what do you do with your sausage ends ? "") 

Now, I knew that the speaker was very musical, 
that there was not a tone in the opera which she 
did not know and appreciate, that the text and its 
full meaning was ABC to her, but her home and 
its absorbing problems reoccurred to her, and, carried 
off on the wings of impulse, she asked the vital 
question whose answer I was unfortunate enough to 
miss, thanks to " The Bridal Chorus.'" I beheve, 
however, that in other countries besides Germany 
the matters of servants and cooking are not wholly 
tabooed subjects among ladies, so that it would be 
unwise to throw stones if the German Hausfrau sins con- 
siderably in this respect. At any rate, I can only say 
in her defence that shemri talk on other matters if she 
chooses, and that her brains are far from idle. Icannot 
pretend, however, that she is a very attractive 
woman. Her lack of vanity, her very unselfishness, 
devotion, and earnestness, are virtues which tend to 
make her ponderous, a Httle stodgy, though not 
insipid. She lacks the EngHshwoman's savoir-vivre 
and the Frenchwoman's Hghtness of touch, and 
though we cannot shut our hearts against her 
sincerity and goodness, though we are forced to ad- 
mire and even envy the sterling quaHties to which 
her country owes so much, she leaves our enthusiasm 
limping. I suppose the essentially German quaHties 
of thoroughness and Pflichtgefiihl are too massive 
for our ideas of femininity. . 

It would be unfair and also a serious error not 
to add that there is a subdivision of the domestic 
group which is attractive, and which has a charge 



158 MY GERMAN YEAR 

entirely of its own. If you take a step upward on 
the social ladder, you may suddenly find yourself 
face to face with, a type which will completely upset 
all your previous ideas and theories. Amongst the 
aristocracy, and even amongst the old bourgeois 
famihes, there are women whose grace, dignity, and 
refinement are united to the sterhng virtues of her 
less interesting sister, making of her a personage 
whose equal it would be hard to find in any part of 
the world. I venture to place the present German 
Empress as a type of this class. Domesticated, 
devoted body and soul to her duty, self-efiacing yet 
all-powerful, noble in bearing and in hfe, tactful 
and gracious, she is the German ideal of a woman, 
and in modified degrees one meets her everywhere 
in the circles of the upper classes. There the indiffer- 
ence to outward things is exchanged for a refinement 
of taste which never, as it does, alas, in other lands, 
degenerates into vulgar ostentation. I have never 
yet seen a German lady of position loudly or over- 
dressed, but I have seenher as elegant, as " vornehm,"' 
as any other woman under the sun. I even dare 
assert that a German woman at her best is not to be 
rivalled. She has a certain strength, a certain 
grandness of bearing and character, which more 
than atones for the lack of daintiness, chic, or what- 
ever you Hke to call it, which distinguishes the woman 
of other lands. The high principles on which her Hfe 
is built seem to find their expression in her face and 
carriage, and there is, added to this worth, the 
might of an unequalled education. The reason why 
she is better educated than other women is a subject 
for another chapter — it is suflSicient for the present 



THE GERMAN WOMAN 159 

to state the fact. Like the whole aristocracy, she 
carries the principle of noblesse oblige into her 
branch of life, and to know her is to admire her, to 
feel for her an ungrudging admiration and even 
reverence. But alas, she is not to be met on the 
streets. She leads, for the most part, an exclusive 
life of her own — not a narrow hfe, for her interests 
are pecuHarly wide — but socially she rarely moves out 
of her circle. So I suppose it is quite natural that a 
foreigner should shake his head over the woman he 
meets on his tour of inspection. The extraordinary 
mixtures of dowdy colours, the orderly disorder of 
their attire, the badly done hair, neglected figures, 
the Eeform — yes, I can understand and sympathise 
with his feehngs. I can only comfort him with the 
hope that one day things will grow better, and that, 
in the meantime, if he gives himself the trouble to 
look for them, he will find charming as well as 
clever women hidden away in the sober-looking 
houses so difiicult of access. 

There is now the other great division in the 
woman's world to be considered — the talented, 
professional girls and women, who are working 
either for their hving or because work seems to them 
life's highest happiness. Their numbers are grow- 
ing daily. Without sound, without commotion, the 
barriers which were held up against woman's entry 
into the professions have been overthrown. The 
first heroic woman's battle in the Universities, her 
firm defiance of the insults, irritations, and unfair- 
ness of the students and professors, who did not 
scruple to destroy her work or grossly underestimate 
its value, has cleared the road for hundreds of others 



160 MY GERMAN YEAR 

who are pressing eagerly forward. It is estimated, 
for instance, that there are seventy women doctors in 
Germany, and that they have more to do than they 
can manage, and in this profession as in many others 
the demand is rapidly increasing. Women doctors, 
scientists, dentists, writers, painters, musicians, 
lecturers, gardeners, farmers — ^they are all on the 
march, and though the struggle against prejudice 
and envy may be hard, the ultimate victory is sure. 
It is all the surer because there is nothing hysterical 
or violent in the German woman's advance. She 
is overcoming her enemies, not by stone-throwing 
and assault, but by the force of her real value, 
character, and attainments. You can suppress 
rowdyism and noise, but you cannot suppress abihty, 
and the German woman student has proved herself 
more than able to fill the posts which she covets. 
She may not be outwardly very attractive — the 
pioneers of a great movement are usually unattract- 
ive, the struggle absorbs too much of their energy — 
but she is brilhantly clever, hard working, thorough, 
and blessed with an indomitable purpose. If the 
political progress seems slow in Enghsh eyes, it is 
because it is less noisy and also because politics 
play a comparatively small part in German life. 

" I cannot understand the feverish interest you 
take in the elections," a German lady said to me, the 
other day. " I confess that pohtics bore me to 
extinction, and I fancy they bore most Germans 
except those actually engaged in the fray." And 
she was one of the emancipated — one of the women 
workers ! Still, in spite of this indifference, I have 
heard well-informed men declare that the German 



THE GERMAN WOMAN 161 

woman's vote is not far ofi — one even asserted 
boldly that it lay nearer in the future than the 
EngHshwoman's, because she had not aHenated the 
sjonpathy of moderate people by her extreme con- 
duct. I do not profess to know how much truth 
there is in these optimistic prophesies, or in how 
far they are really optimistic, but of one thing I am 
sure — that mentally she is as well prepared as any 
other woman in the world for the new burden, and 
that she will endeavour to do her duty faithfully. 



II 



CHAPTEE XI 

SPORTING MATTERS 

HALF-PAST four on a dreary January morn- 
ing, a drizzling rain, a dank, chilly atmosphere 
— surely not very promising conditions for a day's 
sport amidst snow and ice ! "" 

This was the grumbled verdict of the EngHsh 
jEriend when I aroused her from her cruelly curtailed 
slumbers to accompany me on a long-planned expedi- 
tion into the Black Forest. Myself too sleepy to 
expostulate, and through want of experience a little 
shaken in my hopes by the gloomy outlook, I merely 
pointed to my German friend, who was going about 
her preparations with calm cheerfulness. 

" Everybody will think us mad parading through 
the mud with tobogganoes ! "" said Enghsh Ignorance, 
decidedly grumpy. 

" Wait and see ! '' retorted German Wisdom, 
going on with her breakfast. 

Coffee and rolls — even if the latter remind one 
somewhat of yesterday — are great magicians, and 
at half-past five our party, enlarged by outside con- 
tingents, was on its way down the silent streets in 
the best of spirits, dragging behind a veritable army 
of bumping, very out-of-place-looking tobogganoes. 
There is a decided charm in getting up and going 

192 




THE BLACK FOREST IN WINTER. 




A SKI PARTY IX THE BLACK FOREST. 



SPORTING MATTERS 163 

out at unearthly hours — occasionally. It is a cause 
of real moral elevation to look at the blank light- 
less windows, and know that behind the shutters 
lazy folk are still dreaming, whilst you are awake 
and active. You have an overweening contempt 
for such people, and a strong desire to spoil their 
slumbers by creating as much noise as possible. In 
fact, we felt ourselves the heroes of Karlsruhe until 
we reached the station, where our self-satisfaction 
was not a Uttle damped by the discovery that we 
were only a few among many. Stout German 
ladies, whom you could hardly imagine taking a 
moderate walk, in short skirts, thick boots, and 
pert Alpine caps ; young girls, old men, young men, 
all in correct sporting attire, crowded round the 
booking-office, and EngHsh Ignorance rubbed its 
eyes. 

" Am I really in Germany, or am I dreaming ? " 
she inquired dazedly. 

*' If you are dreaming, please wake up, or we 
shall miss the train ! " retorted German Wisdom, 
taking third-class tickets. 

German third-class carriages are uncushioned 
horrors which we usually scorn, but it is part of the 
sport to be as uncomfortable as possible, and as 
none of our companions seemed to think of second- 
class luxuries we followed meekly into the glorified 
cattle-trucks set at our disposal. Fortunately we 
were a sufficiently large party to obtain a compart- 
ment all to ourselves. I say " fortunately,'" for by 
this time we were all thoroughly awake, and our 
spirits had risen to a degree which, together with 
our suspiciously new-looking tobogganoes, must have 



164 MY GERMAN YEAR 

betrayed to the other cahn and sober travellers 
that this excursion was something new too, that we 
were, in fact, far from being veterans. After an 
hour in the " Bmnmelzug," which stopped at every 
station to pick up fresh parties, we arrived at a 
junction, where we were turned out and transferred 
into a Uttle mountain railway. We had already 
climbed a few hundred feet upwards, and a thin 
covering of snow shimmered hopefully beneath the 
station Ughts. 

"" I trust there will be more than that where we 
are going to ! "" said English Ignorance, to which 
remark German Wisdom deigned no answer. 

It was a decidedly dirty and smelly httle mountain 
train, but it performed wonders, transporting us out of 
the land of gloom and slush into a land of fairy-hke 
and spotless beauty. Thick snow lay on the ground 
as we descended from our murky compartment, and 
the dawn breaking through the grey mists revealed 
great fir-covered mountains, silent and awe-inspiring 
in their unsulHed magnificence. Enghsh Ignorance 
collapsed into speechless admiration as the sleigh 
ghded along the winding road, the bells ringing out 
on to the crisp stillness, the horses' hoofs mufiled to 
a soft, almost inaudible, thud. German Wisdom 
developed a certain pardonable amount of pride. 

" You haven't anything hke this in England, 
have you, now ? " 

And Enghsh Ignorance, usually exceedingly arro- 
gant, meekly admitted that this world which a short 
train journey had revealed was something as new as 
it was wonderful. 

Always higher, through picturesque villages, 



SPORTING MATTERS 165 

past lonely huts, ever deeper into the white forest ! 
The snow lay piled up six feet deep on either side, 
the mighty fir trees hung their branches patiently 
beneath their burden, their Httle sisters lying at 
their foot, almost completely buried or peering out 
hke quaint-shaped gnomes ; long icicles hung from 
the rocks, over which, when the spring comes, the 
torrents will pour tumultuously down into the 
valley. A dead hush rested on the whole white 
world, only broken by the jinghng of our bells as, 
like rude intruders, we passed on our way among 
the countless sleeping giants. The sky was still 
grey, and here and there as the road curved we 
plunged into thick banks of mist which obscured 
the valley already far beneath, but at last, as the 
Euhestein Hotel hove in sight, the watching German 
eyes descried the first blue rift, and a few moments 
later the whole scene had changed. The mists 
parted, a brilhant sky threw into more perfect rehef 
the unspotted whiteness of this suddenly revealed 
fairyland. We no longer walked on snow, we 
walked on diamonds, which flashed their tiny re- 
flections back at the warm sunshine, the hanging 
icicles became ghttering streaks of light, the whole 
peaceful lovely world shimmered in dazzling splen- 
dour. English Ignorance, open-mouthed, bhssfully 
overwhelmed, stood on the doorstep of the hotel— 
a simple Black Forest Gasthaus — and scorned the 
thought of dinner. Fortunately German Wisdom 
prevailed, and having made a scanty toilette — it is 
not sporting to be too immaculate — we found 
ourselves at a long table with half a dozen other 
guests enjoying the country fare. As yet the hotel 



166 MY GERMAN YEAR 

was practically empty, for the chief guests were 
expected later on in the day. These came to stay 
for three or four m'ghts in order to take part in the 
Ski-Kursus, papng for their board and instruction 
the large sum of four marks per diem. Not so 
fortunate — the one hundred and forty beds were 
already taken — we had to make the most of our 
time, and the meal no sooner over, we hurried 
out and began our sporting experiments. Nothing 
venture, nothing win ! Emboldened by a success- 
ful flight down the toboggano run, we borrowed 
the necessary skis and started on the beginner's 
slope — after a certain amount of nervous pre- 
hminaries, for the first effort is hke a leap into an 
unknown eternity. An instant's magnificent per- 
pendicular amidst ironical " ohs '' and " ahs '' of 
admiration from German Wisdom, a sudden lurch, 
and the glory was at an end ! I finished the career 
in a curious sitting posture, which I beheve is un- 
attainable even by the most proficient ski-runners. 
So much was tolerable, but, alas ! the home-road had 
to be faced. One agonised step forward, an entirely 
unwished-for slide backwards, which flung me for- 
ward with a painful wrench at the ankles, a 
desperate plunge, volumes of advice from German 
Wisdom convulsed with laughter at the top of the 
bank. 

*' Why don't you dig your feet in sideways ? 
Keep your knees together ! You'll be up soon ! " 

A second German Wisdom on skis offered to 
come down and help me, to which I retorted, I fear, 
without the necessary pohteness. I have found 
there is nothing which can make a human being so 



^,' V\ I ''■■ 




SPORTING MATTERS 167 

furious as trying to get up a steep slope on a pair of 
skis, especially for the first time, and on that account 
I trust my abruptness was forgiven. At last I 
reached the top, thanks to the discovery that by 
sitting down and bumping yourself along with your 
hands you can attain a speed of something hke a yard 
every five minutes. My hat over one ear, covered in 
snow, distinctly heated, in every sense of the word, 
I had then to hsten to German Wisdom's observa- 
tions. 

" You have no idea how funny you looked ! It 
was quite the most ridiculous sight I have ever seen. 
Do go down again ! Don't you hke it immensely ? " 

German Wisdom ii. offered me thereupon a httle 
instructive pamphlet, from which I learned that the 
chief thing is not to fall down. 

" I shall try again in a minute," I said, with 
dignity. " Only give me time ! " 

I then looked about me, whilst German Wisdom 
sailed away gracefully and with the most irritating 
ease. It was altogether rather trying for poor 
English Arrogance, accustomed to excel in all 
matters sporting, to see the much-despised German 
people, who are no good at tennis or football, and 
have no understanding for cricket, performing the 
most wonderful feats on the unmanageable slender 
planks. It was insult to injury when a stout matron 
clambered calmly and without effort up the slope 
which had brought Enghsh Arrogance to so humihat- 
ing a fall, when, in fact, everybody could perform 
what seemed an impossibihty. I tried again, I tried 
until tea-time, when the first shadows of evening 
began to creep over the snow, and I, wet through 



168 MY GERMAN YEAR 

and weary but by no means conquered, returned my 
skis to the rightful owner. 

" If you come every week for a year or two you 
might be able to manage quite nicely/' he said 
condescendingly. " The great thing is not to fall 
down." 

German Wisdom offered consolation. 

" We will toboggan together back to the valley," 
she said. " Then you will know what it is to live." 

No sooner suggested than weariness fled. The 
others packed themselves into the waiting sleigh, 
but we dragged our toboggano to the top of the 
ski-path, and with German Wisdom at the helm 
began the descent. It had taken us two hours to 
cUmb the mountain — we reached the village in a 
quarter of an hour. I do not know how fast we 
went or indeed what happened. I was only con- 
scious of flying through the crisp, keen air, swerving 
round sharp corners, past ski-laiifers on their way 
up to the hotel, into grey mists with the flakes of 
snow flying in our faces, out on to the high road, 
and still on till the village and an uncomfortable 
grating told us that it was all over. A wonderful, 
never-to-be-forgotten quarter of an hour ! Regret- 
fully we walked back to meet the sleigh, and hitching 
it on behind allowed ourselves to be bumped through 
the thin snow to the station. Down in the valley a 
thaw had set in, and long before we. reached the 
destination our ride had become distinctly un- 
pleasant, but on such occasions the unpleasant 
counts for nothing against the pleasures which one 
has had in such generous quantities. Not even the 
train journey, not even the aching Umbs and soaking 



SPORTING MATTERS 169 

clothes could reduce our spirits or mar our recol- 
lections. We had been sixteen hours en route, and 
were proud of our energy and endurance. It was this 
pride which led me to consider the four Germans 
who belonged to our party in a new and more respect- 
ful light. None of them could play tennis or hockey 
or cricket — I had regarded them hitherto as utterly 
unsporting people — but they had borne the fatigue 
better than I had done, and they had certainly 
understood a form of sport which required as much 
energy and skill as any of my favourite games. 
I could no longer say that they were " unsporting/" 
and yet— — Considerably puzzled, with all my 
pet theories thrown into confusion, as is the fate of 
most theories, I turned to German Wisdom for a 
solution. 

"We like sport,"' she explained pertinently, 
" but we do not care for games." 

Voilh! You have the whole German attitude 
in a nutshell. This simple statement explains, for 
instance, why most young people do not care in the 
least for tennis — or, at any rate, only pretend to. It is 
true that in Karlsruhe there are dozens of tennis-courts, 
all in possession of the various tennis-Kranzchen, 
but they are simply means to an end. Out of ten, 
perhaps one player has an idea of the game — the 
rest play anyhow, and in any attire — most probably 
in their everyday clothes — and the tennis-racquet 
is no more than an excuse, a sort of unobtrusive 
chaperon who allows Hans to accompany Gretel 
home through the wood without anybody's sense of 
decorum being mortally wounded. It is true, also, 
that there are numberless clubs where a good player 



170 MY GERMAN YEAR 

is occasionally to be found, but the latter is an 
exception, and in six years I have only met one girl 
who could play averagely well, and she was from 
Baden-Baden ! In the latter town, indeed every- 
where where the foreign element is largely repre- 
sented, the so-called sporting people are more 
plentiful. The German is a clever parrot in such 
matters, and very quick to pick up foreign ways and 
customs — perhaps too quick. Hence in North Ger- 
many and in all watering-places it is possible to 
obtain first-class tennis — in fact our champions will 
very soon have to look to their laurels in this respect — 
but in ordinary towns and amongst genuine Germans 
the love for tennis and all such forms of physical 
amusement is artificial in the extreme. They play 
because it is the fashion, and, above all, because it is 
an excuse for coming together. Other games, such 
as hockey and football, are altogether tabooed by 
the better classes as violent and brutal. There are 
three football clubs in Karlsruhe, two of which 
have well-trained and capable teams, but they are 
made up of men from the lower ranks, and the 
crowd which pours out on Sunday to watch the 
matches consists of shop-keepers, small officials, 
clerks, and so on. In vain royalty has bestowed its 
patronage on every form of sport ; in vain the 
commanders of cadet schools, the principals of 
colleges, have endeavoured by persuasion and force 
to bring the German youth to play football and 
cricket. Do what they will, they can only obtain a 
reluctant obedience, and as soon as the compulsion 
is at an end the German flings both games aside, 
together with other equally objectionable school 



< C C < f c 




SPORTING MATTERS 171 

duties. In the girls' schools it is the same. Tennis 
is played after a fashion, but that is the only con- 
cession which the most sporting and determined 
English governess can obtain from her pupils. In 
after Ufe they keep up this one game, but nothing 
short of violence will get them to indulge in hockey, 
let alone cricket, which latter everybody thinks 
extremely dull. During the present winter an heroic 
and international person tried to get up a ladies' 
hockey-club, and actually succeeded in wheedling 
five German and six English ladies to help in 
the attempt. The Germans paid their subscriptions, 
came once, and — never came again. As a team 
cannot exist on six members, the Enghsh party also 
dropped away, and the efiort had to be abandoned. 

The aristocracy, who set the fashion in such 
matters, take very small part in sport beyond racing 
and hunting. In North Germany there is a certain 
amount of polo, and a select circle goes in for tennis 
in style, but it is only a select circle. The mass 
remain either entirely indifferent or pick up a 
rudimentary idea of that one recognised game, 
because it is a social convenience. The conse- 
quences are, naturally, far from brilliant, and some- 
times absurd. No doubt matters have improved. 
When I first came here, for instance, the officers 
played bat and ball — so-called tennis — in their 
uniforms, and it was quite usual for a civiHan to run 
about a court in a tweed suit and a bowler hat. 
This year I have noticed a striking predominance 
of flannels, and a gratifying attempt at style. But 
the fatal fact still remains, that the real love of the 
thing, the need of it, does not exist. Perhaps it is 



172 MY GERMAN YEAR 

just as well. Chacun a son gout and the German 
has no real need for sport, or at any rate our form of 
sport. Whatever educational or physical disad- 
vantages his indifference to games might entail is 
atoned for by gymnastics, his military service, and 
^ the form of sport which he enjoys. The German 
^ is devoted to all kinds of exercise which are in direct 
connection with nature, with outdoor Hfe. The 
man who sees no pleasure in being cooped up in a 
tennis-court or in a football field will travel miles 
on skis through the forests, skate every free minute 
of his day, and in the heat of the summer undertake 
\ long walking or mountaineering tours. In this 
respect one must not judge by the specimens to be 
met with in fashionable hotels in the height of the 
season. There are lazy Germans as there are lazy 
people of all nations, and the energetic Teuton does 
not frequent fashionable hotels. He chooses out less- 
known places, and " roughs it "" to his heart's content. 
At his own particular sports the German is a 
first-class man, and even the German woman, who 
seems at first sight a hopeless case, can develop an 
energy which is simply astonishing. Every German 
girl can skate well, most are good swimmers and 
walkers, and proficient in winter sports. Many of 
my girl acquaintances, for instance, whose tennis 
has reduced me to pity and distraction, spend three 
or four weeks of the winter in the Black Forest 
ski-ing or tobogganing. They then show a common 
sense, a sporting spirit, which seems to desert them 
the moment they touch an imported game. They 
dress correctly and sensibly, either in short skirts or 
even in knickerbockers and jerseys ; they take part 



SPORTING MATTERS 173 

in the races, often make remarkable records, and 
display at all times a nerve and endurance altogether 
bewildering for those who have only seen them in 
their town Hfe. It is only when you ask them to 
play games that they fail — chiefly, I think, because 
they do not want to succeed. This point reveals a 
rather interesting trait in the German character — 
a lack of competitiveness, an indifference to a success 
whose only value is the defeat of some one else. In 
school a boy works hard, not for the prize — as a rule 
there is none — or because he wants to do better than 
a comrade, but because he sees a distinct personal 
value in knowledge — he learns, in fact, for learning's 
sake. In after life he conducts his business on the 
same principle. He works tenaciously because work 
is his hfe, and because he sees its distinct utiHty, but 
he is not inspired by a genuine competitive instinct. 
If he does better than other people, it is simply the 
result of a natural law which makes it impossible for 
everybody to do equally well — his success, therefore, 
gives him no particular satisfaction. His attitude 
towards sport is quite in keeping. 

" And suppose I do run myself hot and tired over 
a ridiculous patch of ground after a ridiculous ball, 
and suppose I do win a game, what good will it do 
me ? "" he asks. 

" You will have had splendid exercise,'^ says the 
EngHshman. 

" Yes ; but if I want exercise I would rather go 
for a walk through the forest or make a bicychng 
tour. Then I should perhaps learn something at 
the same time — at any rate, I should be enjoying 
nature." 



174 MY GERMAN YEAR 

" But then there would be no game ! " retorts the 
EngUshman. 

" No game ? What is the good of a game ? 
Am I wiser or better if I beat you at tennis ? "" 

" No, but the fun of it '' 

" I don't see any fun in beating somebody at 
something which has no value. That is childish and 
waste of time." 

A German mihtary hunt is another instance of 
this characteristic dishke for or indifference to 
competition in any form. There are no foxes in 
this part of the world, so a make-beUeve quarry in 
the shape of a soldier on horseback dragging a piece 
of raw meat behind him is substituted. The hunt is 
usually conducted over hedges and ditches of con- 
siderable difficulty, but no one cares in the least who 
gets in at the " kill,"" and the pace set by the Master 
is usually decidedly " gemiithch.'' The fact is that 
the mere catching of the "' fox " has no interest for 
the hunters, who have simply come for the riding's 
sake, and consequently take matters most calmly. 
On the other hand, any form of sport which is in 
direct connection with his work excites the officer 
to instant enthusiasm. At the yearly Campagne 
Reiten — an exhibition of horsemanship for all the 
different cavalry regiments in the Baden Army Corps 
— I have witnessed some really brilHant riding, and 
have been struck by the unusual interest and en- 
thusiasm displayed. Each man is then strung up 
to his best, and the beautiful horses, the sHght elastic 
figures in the gay uniforms, the daring feats down 
breakneck sandbanks and over impossible-looking 
water-jumps,form a picture of always fresh attraction. 



' ■> ' ^ > 




SPORTING MATTERS 175 

In this case there are prizes, but I do not fancy that 
they are the spurs which urge every competitor 
to his greatest efforts. They seemed to be regarded 
as matters of comparatively httle account com- 
pared to the standard of excellency which the 
winners have attained. Each man does his best 
because it is essential for him, as a soldier, to prove 
his proficiency, not for the prize and not for the 
gratification of doing better than a comrade. It may 
be that they cared more for their silver cups than they 
showed, but that was the impression I received. In 
sport, as in everything, there are, of course, exceptions. 
There is the cup-hunter, and the man who, when he 
loses a game, loses his temper with it. He exists 
in Germany, but in small numbers, and the latter 
type is rarest of all. As a rule the German is too 
indifferent to care whether he wins or not, and only 
gets annoyed when too sharply criticised by his 
partner. It is not wise to tell your German partner 
in a tennis-tournament that he is not playing well, or 
in any way show your annoyance at his performance. 
As I have said before, he is very sensitive, and the 
criticism will wound him deeply and reduce his skill 
to vanishing point. On the other hand, a Httle 
praise — however unmerited — will encourage him to 
the finest efforts, and he will repay you by an admira- 
tion for prowess and a consideration for your blunders 
which is quite sincere, since it is the expression of his 
genuine gratitude. 

I might mention in conclusion the absolute 
indifference of young Germany to all card games. 
Even the officers, who, in their long evenings together, 
are often hard put to it to find a new form of amuse- 



176 MY GERMAN YEAR 

ment, remain very phlegmatic devotees. I knew one 
yomig lieutenant — he had an English mother, which 
perhaps accounted for his tastes — ^who was passion- 
ately fond of bridge, but in spite of all his efforts 
he could get no one to play with him. Out of sheer 
pity we used to arrange bridge evenings for him, and 
his joy was quite pathetic. 

" They all hate it," he used to complain 
bitterly ; " and most of them won't even try to 
learn.'^ 

As a matter of fact, only thorough - paced 
gamblers and old people play cards in Germany. 
The latter have nothing else to occupy them, and on 
that account are excused, but the sight of a party 
of young girls and men sitting down to an evening's 
bridge would reduce a pure-blooded German to a 
state of grave bewilderment. He would not be 
particularly shocked. He would simply ask, " Why 
do they do it ? Why do they hke it ? That is an 
occupation for those who have not the strength to do 
anything else." 

It is not, as I have said before, that the Germans 
cannot play — they do not want to. My German 
friend, for instance, is a first-class bridge player, 
having picked it up in England with remarkable 
rapidity, but only when driven by sheer good-nature 
will she consent to take a hand. Other Germans 
simply refuse to learn. 

" I will do anything else you like," one said to 
me, on my having offered myself as an obhging 
instructor in a selection of Enghsh games. " I will 
read and talk French within the house ; I will go out 
riding, sketching, touring, skating with you when 



SPORTING MATTERS 177 

the weather permits, but my Hfe is too short to waste 
it on games." 

Her one exception is chess, which as a game of 
pure intellect is " allowed,"" and appreciated by- 
most Germans. For the rest, her attitude towards 
the usual EngHsh indoor and outdoor amusements 
is typical. It misleads the Englishman to the idea 
that the German is physically idle and wholly un- 
sporting — which is not really the case. " Sport, 
but not games ! " is their motto, and perhaps they 
are not so far wrong after all. They are, at anyrate, 
saved from the dangerous exaggeration which is 
threatening English athletics, and indeed EngUsh 
progress. 



12 



CHAPTER XII 



MANNERS MAKETH MAN 



" TP you are in England and are in any difficulty 
-L as regards etiquette, there is one rule to 
whicli you can always trust," a German lady once 
remarked to me : '" Do just the opposite to what you 
would do in any other civiKsed country, and you are 
bound to do right." 

I thought this statement over, and confessed that 
it was not unfounded. I admitted that, as in 
measures, money, and laws, so in manners, we have 
always been the exceptions ; but I hastened to add, 
with true Enghsh modesty, that if she considered 
the matter she would find that our exceptions were 
usually wise and proper ones. 

" You are hke the mother of a recruit who came 
home from the parade and told her friends that 
her son was the only man in the regiment who had 
been in step ! " she retorted crushingly. " Excep- 
tional ideas and methods are by no means always 
right, and are very often merely the obstinate 
endeavours of people who are trying to be original," 
I protested, and she thereupon went on with some 
heat — it was evident that she had had some un- 
pleasant experiences in England. 

" No one would object to your having your 

178 



MANNERS MAKETH MAN 179 

own ways of doing things, if only you would not 
insist that they were the only right ones. You 
are perfectly at Uberty to eat as you hke, bow as 
you Hke, visit as you like, but please don't measure 
us by your standards, which we do not even recognise 
as standards." 

No doubt there was some justice in her indignant 
protest. Enghsh people have their own particular 
ways, and they have, in addition, the fond beUef that 
they are the providentially appointed criterions in 
all matters whatsoever, but more especially in the 
matters of manners, and that therefore anybody 
who transgresses against their code is of necessity 
mannerless. The German is more just and less 
arrogant. 

" If I went to England everybody would^beUeve 
that I was ill-bred because I do not put my knife 
and fork together as you do,"" one old gentleman 
said to me ; " but you will observe that I do not say 
that your men are ill-mannered when they go into a 
shop with their hats on, ignore my greeting at a hotel 
table d'hote, shake my wife's hand pump-handle fashion, 
with possibly the other hand in their pocket, and 
hft their hat a fourth of aninch when theymeet her on 
the street. If they were Germans, I should say that 
they were not gentlemen ; but since they are English, 
I say to myself that they have other ways, and with- 
hold all criticism. But you EngHsh only recognise 
one very arbitrary standard of your own.'' 

Here, again, I think there was some truth in the 
accusation. Certain it is that after a prolonged 
sojourn amongst the German people, one discovers 
that though they do not conform to our ways they 



180 MY GERMAN YEAR 

have a code of their own whose strictness often makes 
the Enghsh fashion appear somewhat slovenly and 
disrespectful. Yet it is extraordinary how narrow- 
minded people can be on this subject. I know an 
Enghsh lady who still insists on it that Germans 
are rude because the men bow first, because the 
new-comer has to call first, because they have other 
and less stringent table manners. It is vain to 
argue with such people that the laws we have made 
on this point are purely arbitrary, and that there 
is no real reason why one way of arranging one's 
knife and fork is better than another. They hold to 
it that Germans are " disgusting," and look the 
other way when they see an EngHshman bolting his 
food hke a starved wolf. In truth, as soon as the 
traveller has cleared his mind of his national pre- 
judices, he must recognise the fact that he is no 
better than his German cousin, and that in certain 
points he has even something to learn. Of course, 
it is very much a matter of taste, and to sit between 
an Enghshman and a German and Hsten to their 
opinions on the subject of manners, is hke sitting 
between the Irresistible and the Immovable and 
being badly jolted in the process. The Englishman 
thinks it ridiculous when the German sweeps his 
\hat off to the ground to a mascuhne acquaintance, 
/ kisses a lady's hand, bows deeply with his heels 
clapped firmly together, shakes hands after dinner. 
" Did you ever see anything so stiff and absurd ? " 
he asks you. On the other side, the German, though 
he makes generous allowances for custom, finds the 
English manner far too abrupt and casual. His 
criticism is especially directed against the Enghshr 



MANNERS MAKETH MAN 181 

man, and augments in severity according to his own 
social position. " The higher the birth the more 
ceremonious the manners/' is a safe rule to judge 
by. The aristocrat clings tenaciously to the old 
forms, whereas in other classes, and, above all, among 
the merchant and business people, there is a tendency 
to pick up Enghsh ways and to throw off what they 
call the ridiculous old " Zopfe.'" Perhaps they are 
ridiculous for unaccustomed eyes, but when they are 
left out one misses them, and a German who comes 
up and shakes hands with me with Enghsh freedom 
always gives me a shock. It is not that I dislike 
the Enghsh freedom, but when a German imitates 
it he loses something of his individuaUty. The 
average German, just as he is a poetic dreamer 
in spite of his practical abilities, has still amongst 
his up-to-date notions a Httle of the old-world 
chivalry, which one cherishes gratefully as the 
remnants from a more romantic age. Between 
that age and the present the aristocrat forms the 
connecting Hnk. He has been brought up on the 
great past ; his ancestors, his old name, have been 
held constantly before him, and their influence 
extends over his whole Kfe, making of his ideas 
and of his manners a curious mixture of the 
modern and of the old-fashioned. Moreover, he 
is brought up in a severe school. From his childish 
days he has been taught to stand in his father's 
presence, to kiss his mother's hand, to treat her and 
all women with an unfailing, if somewhat formal, 
courtesy. He is usually kept at home until the later 
years of his boyhood, and so has no opportunity to 
develop the rough-and-tumble manners of the public 



^ 



182 MY GERMAN YEAR 

school boy. This home-Ufe accounts to a great 
extent for the ease and seK-possession with which 
the average German youth carries himself through 
a social function. He does not stumble over his 
own feet, choke over his tea, stammer when he 
speaks, or — ^what is worse — maintain a sulky silence. 
He is courteous, simple, and natural, without being 
priggish or unboyish. I think this lack of self- 
consciousness must be part of the German character, 
for even boys who have been brought up away from 
home, and who scarcely see a woman from yearns 
end to year's end, display a natural savoir faire on 
unusual occasions which is surprising. Thus I have 
a pleasant recollection of an evening spent at the 
Cadet school here, where a dance was being given in 
honour of the Emperor's birthday. There were one 
hundred and fifty cadets present of all sizes and of 
all ages, from absurd little mites of ten years old to 
tall young fellows of fifteen and thereabouts, who 
were preparing to go up to GrossKchterfelde for 
their concluding years. I knew something of their 
life, and knew that it was a strenuous Spartan 
existence, in which polish and refinement might all 
too easily be forgotten ; but from the mite of ten, 
who, with a profound bow, engaged me for a waltz 
and swept me off — perhaps, more correctly, was swept 
off — ^with great pride, to the eldest cadet, who never 
allowed the conversation to flag an instant, they all 
behaved with the ease of complete self-forgetful- 
ness. They were sincerely glad to dance with you, 
sincerely grateful that you had come, sincerely 
anxious to please. There was no affectation or 
conceit about them ; their conversation was all 



MANNERS MAKETH MAN 183 

that a boy's should be — a vivid description of a 
rat-hunt remains in my memory — and behind their 
courtly manners, their little formahties, there was 
a heart pohteness, a simpHcity of character, which 
took away all stifiness from the formality and made 
it a Hving courtesy. I hereby admit, without more 
ado, that I find German manners charming. Perhaps 
I have grown accustomed to them, perhaps I have 
grown to understand the character which is their 
source. I like the courteous greeting which strangers 
exchange when chance brings them together. No 
matter whether you meet a German in a railway 
carriage, in a consulting-room, or at a table d'Mte, 
he will always greet you, and there is something in 
this recognition of your existence, in this tacit 
acknowledgment that you are a human being like 
himseK, which gives the " Universal Brotherhood of 
Man '' 2i touch of reaUty. These Httle touches, 
these Httle formahties — pecuHar, I must observe, to 
the South German — are the more pleasing because 
they are the sincere expression of a sincere feeling. 
One has to learn to beheve in this sincerity. When 
I first came to Germany I thought the courtly 
attention which men showed to women, the hand- 
kissing, bowing, and so on, a hollow mockery, a kind 
of sweetmeat offered instead of a genuine respect, 
but since then I have learnt to think differently. 
The German has not only been taught the outer 
courtesies, but he has been bom with a kindness of 
heart and instinctive consideration for others which 
makes them of real value. The man who appears 
to have a fund of " small change " and valueless 
attentions, is the same man who will go miles out 



184 MY GERMAN YEAR 

of his way for you to-morrow. English people are 
so accustomed to look upon a certain brusquerie as 
a sign of sincerity, and a high degree of polish as a 
sign of humbug, that it is very difficult, even after 
many years, to get accustomed to the German fashion. 
Only a few weeks ago I was travelling in the same 
tram with a young lieutenant, whose smooth and 
graceful manners had more than once aroused 
suspicion in my English soul. He was got up in 
his newest and finest uniform — ^we were both on our 
way to a mihtary funeral, I remember — he had on 
spotless white kid gloves, an eye-glass thrust in his 
eye ; he looked, in fact, the veriest dandy, who 
would not have soiled himself to save a hfe. The 
tram was very full, and presently an old peasant 
fellow came in with his basket of vegetables and 
looked about helplessly, treading on everybody's 
toes in the meantime. I looked on my mihtary 
acquaintance and waited for the storm. The dandy 
rose, saluted gravely, offered the old peasant his 
seat, and went and stood outside. If there is 
anything in thought telegraphy, that young officer 
must have heard me apologising to him all the rest 
of our journey together. This is only one example 
of the many which I will not cite, for fear of being 
unnecessarily tiresome. I only assert that you can 
enjoy German courtesy with an easy mind — it is 
genuine. 

Hitherto I have spoken chiefly of the aristo- 
cratic classes ; the bourgeois is not less courteous, 
he is only a shade less pohshed. Being bound 
by no tradition, his manners vary with every family. 
Some are inchned to be too " devot,'' too persistent 



MANNERS MAKETH MAN 185 

with their bob-curtsies and hand-kissing, others 
too negligent, but one feature is common to them all, 
and indeed to all Germans — the respect and defer- 
ence with which older people are treated. It is 
one of the most pleasing features of German hfe. 
Although from what I have seen I beheve the rela- 
tions between parents and children to be far smoother 
in Germany than in England, one hears nothing of 
the careless and sometimes disrespectful conduct 
which shocks the German on his visit to my country. 
German people know that intimacy breeds con- 
tempt, and that from the moment outward courtesies 
and attentions are neglected all true respect is at 
an end, and they take care, therefore, that courtesy 
shall be an indispensable ingredient in their children's 
attitude towards themselves and others. Thus a 
German girl in the presence of her elder is never 
clumsy, rude, or abrupt. She is always at hand 
with some Httle attention or kindness, and though 
one may laugh at her " Knix,'' one cannot but 
admire the education which has taught her so 
much respect and consideration for others. For- 
tunately, it is not all education. If you go among 
the lower classes you will find the same good nature, 
the same wilHngness to obHge, the same refinement 
of feehng, which is the root of all German pohteness. 
No South German peasant will pass you on the 
road without his " Tag ! " or " Griiss Gott ! '' and 
here again the ceremonial covers a genuine friendh- 
ness. It has been more than once my fate during 
long bicychng tours to find myself stranded on the 
wayside with a punctured tyre or a damaged gear- 
case, and on each occasion a labourer has left his 



186 MY GERMAN YEAR 

work and planted himself down to the repair with 
an energy and patience which atoned for all lack 
of skill. One young yokel even rode to the neigh- 
bouring town to buy a new inner tyre for me, and 
as the latter had exhausted my funds I could offer 
him nothing for reward but my promise that if 
he would give me his address he would hear of 
" something to his advantage/' He shook his head 
with cheery good-nature. 

" Ach, was, das macht nix, Fraiilein,"' he said 
as he went ofi ; " Das macht nix ! "" 

So I have always found the German, from the 
lowest to the highest, kindly, wilUng, considerate. 
Even the servants are poUte. If they have not 
been dehberately brought up to be famihar by the 
famiUarity of their mistress, they are usually very 
respectful, and in the worst case look upon them- 
selves as members of the family. Certainly they 
do not look down upon you as inferior beings whom 
Providence has entrusted to their good-natured 
care and pity. As I have said, one class is more 
pohshed than another, one class more for formahty, 
one class possessed with a foohsh craze for foreign 
ways, but at the bottom they are all the same. They 
are all actuated by the same extreme sensitiveness 
as regards their own and other people's feehngs. 
Hence they are always warmly grateful for the 
smallest kindnesses, always enthusiastic, always care- 
ful with their criticism, always considerate for the 
weak spots in others. They do as they would be 
done by. It may be that they carry their form of 
pohteness too far, praising and admiring and thank- 
ing to an exaggerated degree, which the Enghshman 



MANNERS MAKETH MAN 187 

understands as little as the German understands 
his reserve and coldness. But it is an unconscious 
error. They do not mean to flatter or to say more 
or less than is true, they simply shrink instinctively 
from saying what they themselves would not care 
to hear. Naturally there are rude and disagreeable 
Germans — it has not been my fate to meet them, 
but I have no doubt they exist, since no nation is 
perfect — but the average German neither eats 
with his knife, nor pushes you ofi the pavement, 
nor treads on your toes actually or figuratively, 
nor helps himself to the best of everything going. 
He is, in the first place, far too good-natured ; and, 
in the second, usually indifferent to outward matters, 
he lays great stress on his code of manners. It is 
not our code, and Uke every code — even our own — 
it has its absurdities, its failings, and its many con- 
tradictions. On the one side you will often find 
formahty confronted with a certain informahty, 
a certain abruptness, which startle you, and then 
absurdities which will amuse you until you have 
got accustomed to them. There is, for instance, 
no particular reason why the centre of the sofa 
should be the place of honour for the visitor — on 
the contrary, I have always found the sofa most 
uncomfortable ; but then there is no reason why it 
should be more well-bred to put one's knife and fork 
together when finished than to leave them in any 
other position. On such trivial points it is only 
a matter of taste and custom, and he who cannot 
get over such Httle differences had better stay at 
his native hearth. Where genuine heart pohteness 
and good breeding is concerned, the German is 



188 MY GERMAN YEAR 

equal to the best, and if his sensitiveness is respected 
there is no pleasanter person in the world to live 
with, no one more kindly or more com:teous. Only 
it is not wise to laugh at his ways simply because 
they are dijfferent to what one is accustomed to. 
It is always irritating to be laughed at, and it prevents 
all true understanding and appreciation. With a 
little sympathy it is easy to get accustomed to the 
unaccustomed, and to find its meaning. For there 
is always a meaning if one chooses to look for it, 
and the German meaning is sure to be like himself, 
good and kindly, with a dash of the chevaleresque and 
the poetic about it to reheve it from the dull grey 
of our prosaic modern hfe. 



CHAPTER XIII 

MARRIAGE — BEFORE AND AFTER 

IN my Grerman year there are many marriages, 
and if there is one thing more than another 
which reminds me that the German years are passing, 
it is the way in which yomig Backfische, with their 
hair coiled in neat plaits over their ears, develop 
suddenly into yomig ladies, and then with equal 
suddenness bestow upon you a huge double sheet of 
printed paper, on one side of which Herr S. (title) and 
Frau S. {nee Z.) give themselves the honour of announ- 
cing the betrothal of their daughter Elsa with Herr 
K. (title), and on the other side of which Herr K. gives 
himself the honour of announcing his betrothal with 
Elsa, daughter of Herr S. (title) and Frau S. {nie Z.). 
You then open your eyes, murmur " Fancy," send 
round the customary bouquet of flowers to the bride, 
and put the matter out of your mind for the year or 
six months, during which time the couple must wait in 
patience ; or if you remember the happy event, it will 
only be when you meet them on the street arm in arm, 
the picture of GemiitHchkeit, and openly acknow- 
ledged devotion. Sometimes your surprise over certain 
engagements appears really justified. As I have said 
before, a girl in Germany must be a deformity and a 
pauper combined, not to be able to find a husband if 

189 



190 MY GERMAN YEAR 

she wants to ; and more than once I have been be- 
wildered by the brilHant matches which the most 
dowdy and impossible-looking have been able to 
bring about under their mother's skilful generalship. 
For the men in Germany do not marry — they are 
married ; they are more or less passive articles of sale, 
which stand in rows in the matrimonial shop-window 
with their price labelled in large letters in their button- 
hole, waiting patiently for a purchaser. They are 
perfectly wilHng, even eager, victims ; they want to be 
bought, but their position does not allow them to 
grasp the initiative, and they are thankful when at last 
someone comes along and declares herself capable 
and willing to pay the price. This may seem exagger- 
ated, and there are always the exceptions to be 
reckoned with, but it is true in the rule, and in every 
social circle, however low or high. The girl and her 
mother, with their purse in hand, pass the articles in 
review, and choose out the one which best suits their 
means and fancy. 

" I shall marry an officer,'" one girl told me some 
time ago, with the easy confidence of a person about 
to order a new dress ; and lo and behold, before the 
year was out she was walking proudly on the arm of a 
dragoon heutenant. I even know of three women who 
swore to each other that they would only marry 
geniuses, and here also they had their will. One 
married a great painter, one a poet, and another a 
f amousdiplomatist. That they were all three pecuharly 
unhappy is not a witness against the system, but a proof 
that geniuses may — occasionally — be very uncomfort- 
able partners. In this case the purchasers were 
rich and what is called " gefeiette Madchen " — that is 



MARRIAGE— BEFORE AND AFTER 191 

to say, popular — and could therefore make their 
choice. Others of lesser means would have had to 
content themselves with an officer, cavalry or infantry, 
according to the " dot '' — or a lawyer, or a doctor, 
or a merchant, and so on down the scale. A pretty 
and charming girl can find her partner without 
any other perquisites than her face and her charms, but 
her choice becomes at once more limited, for the men 
who can afford to marry a penniless wife are too few 
in number and too scattered. Hence marriages in 
Germany have in most cases a practical side, though 
they in no way resemble the French manages de 
convenance. A yoimg man in the marriagable age — 
in Germany, from twenty-three onwards to thirty-five 
— is rarely in a position to set up housekeeping unless 
he receives support either from his own father or 
from the family of his wife. Should he have chosen a 
State or professional career, his income will not be 
sufficient until he is at least thirty-three, and an 
unmarried man of thirty-three in Germany is a man 
who has been a considerable time on the shelf. The 
officer is even worse off. At no time in his Hfe is he 
in the position to support a family on his pay alone. 
All the support he gets from home is needed to fill up 
the gaps in his own personal existence, and only 
one man in a hundred is able to put the financial side 
of the question quite out of sight. It is not that the 
German is a fortune-hunter — he simply cannot help 
himself. I know one heutenant who was desperately 
attached to a girl belonging to an aristocratic but 
impoverished family. As is usual, he went first to the 
parents to ask their permission to propose to her — or 
rather to ask if they could afford him as a son-in-law. 



192 MY GERMAN YEAR 

They named a yearly allowance which he knew to be 
insufficient, and he immediately retired without ever 
speaking to the object of his hopes. In another 
similar case the girl's family offered to make every 
possible sacrifice in order to give her the husband she 
wished for, but this time it was the girl who refused 
to buy her happiness at so high a price. In both 
instances, neither of the parties have married, though 
they could have made brilliant matches had they 
wished it. 

Even young men of well-to-do families are scarcely 

if ever able to marry without the financial support of 

their wives' people. The reason is clear and perfectly 

just. We will suppose a father with moderate means 

with a family of two daughters and a son. He 

takes from his fortune a certain sum — as much 

as he can afford — and divides it equally into three 

parts. The ordinary education of his children is now 

at an end. He takes the son's share of the money and 

spends it on his maintenance and training during the 

long years which must pass before a professional 

man becomes self-supporting. Should the son come 

to him during his apprenticeship with the plea that 

he wishes to marry, he at once asks who the girl is, and 

if her family is in a position to support the new 

minage. The reply being in the negative, the father 

produces his son's educational bills and lays them 

before him, with the remark — 

" This represents your share of my wealth ; what 
remains belongs to your sisters." 

Should the sisters — as sometimes happens — 
choose to spend their dowry in a continuation of their 
education, they are usually at hberty to do so, but 



MARRIAGE— BEFORE AND AFTER 193 

unless the family be very wealthy, they must expect 
no more help when the marriage question appears on 
the horizon. As a rule, however, the girl who wants 
to marry stays at home and reserves her share, so that 
when the right man comes she will be able to marry 
him. At first sight this system has an ugly look, and 
suggests nothing but the most distasteful manages 
de convenance. One imagines young men up to their 
necks in debt pursuing every rich heiress that crosses 
their path ; one imagines the sad pHght of a girl who 
feels that the man she loves is at the bottom only 
seeking her money; but, as a matter of fact, the 
conditions exist no more in Germany than in England. 

" I cannot marry a wife without money, but I 
will not marry her for her money,"" is the clear and 
definite standpoint of most German men, and they 
prove their sincerity. A short time ago Karlsruhe 
society was adorned by a very rich but unattractive 
daughter of a very obviously self-made man. It 
was clear that she was " doing the season "" with 
the idea of picking up some penniless young noble 
or officer, and indeed one would have supposed the 
temptation irresistible. The mother of an officer, 
renowned for his pecuniary difficulties, hinted gently 
that this was the opportunity of his fife, and that he 
should make haste before this gold-fish was caught by 
some more enterprising fisher. Her son shrugged 
his shoulders. 

" We may want money badly enough," he said, 
" but there are some things we can't swallow. There 
isn't one of us who would marry Fraiilein R. just 
for her money's sake." 

Such indeed proved to be the case. Fraiilein R. 
13 



194 MY GERMAN YEAR 

returned to her home without her noble fiance, and 
had to content herself with a husband of her own 
origin. Had she been other than she was, cultured, 
intelHgent, or lovable, she would have had the whole 
eligible contingent at her feet, but her money alone 
was not sufficient attraction — not even for the most 
desperate fortune-hunter. 

" Das Herz muss auch mitsprechen," as one of the 
latter informed an elderly and motherly friend. 

The explanation for this phenomenon is to be 
found in the German temperament. The average 
Teuton loves his home, and his greatest ambition 
is to build up a family in whose bosom he can always 
find comfort, support, and love. A gilded domestic 
misery is not to his taste. He is too easy-going, 
too indifferent to luxury, too much of a Gemiits- 
mensch to sacrifice his ideals for the sake of wealth 
and splendour. If he can have a grand house and 
horses and carriages, as well as the woman of his 
choice, so much the better, but the house and all 
the pertaining luxuries are secondary considerations. 
If he can afford to hve in moderate comfort — very 
moderate for our ideas — he is equally happy. That 
is all he asks of life, or rather of his wife's parents. 
No doubt money gilds over many defects, and the 
wealthy, less attractive girl in Germany has more 
chance than her poorer, more attractive sister, but 
her money is not irresistible, and if she chooses a man 
who takes her solely for her wealth it is entirely 
her own fault. Sometimes her fortune is the 
primary attraction — the gild is there — but she will 
always be able to find a suitor who will do his utmost 
to fall genuinely in love with her, and who genuinely 



MARRIAGE— BEFORE AND AFTER 195 

succeeds. A loveless marriage in Germany is the 
exception, and the exception is despised. As a rule, 
a match is made up of real affection and a moderate 
portion of practical considerations. 

The financial side of the case explains the custom 
of first appealing to the parents before speaking to 
the girl. Naturally the girl knows well enough 
whither matters are tending, but no doubt she suffers 
many anxious moments of suspense. An amusing 
illustration reoccurs to me as I write, relating to a 
young pair whom the world had for a long time 
looked upon as " settled/' They were always 
together, his attentions were very obviously in- 
tentions, but somehow or other he never — as it is 
vulgarly described — came to the point. The girl 
was distracted with uncertainty, until one day her 
parents returned from America after a long voyage. 
The same hour that they landed in Bremen the 
young cavaHer packed his trunks and went to meet 
them, received their blessing — and the promise of 
the dowry — returned by the next train, and laid his 
hand and heart at his Penelope's feet. Whereupon 
she flung herself into his arms with the exclamation, 
" EndHch, du Sheusal ! " (" At last, you horror ! "). 
Which form of acceptance, if unusual, was distinctly 
satisfactory. 

I said at the beginning of the chapter that the 
men were more married than marrying, and I have 
based this conclusion on my observations and on a 
remark which a German lady once made to me. 

" An average girl can always get the man she 
wants,'' she said, " as long as she does not want 
something too grand or too expensive." 



196 MY GERMAN YEAR 

I think she was right. We will take the case of 
a Fratilein S., the daughter of a lawyer of good 
standing and moderate means. In her particular 
social circle she is not likely to meet any one beyond 
her reach. The young barristers who are invited 
to her father's house are all more or less ehgible 
suitors, and she needs only to make her choice and 
her mother does the rest. Dinner parties, tennis 
parties, dances, picnics, etc. — they are all means 
to an end. With the sUghtest encouragement on 
the girl's part matters march rapidly forward. 
Twenty years ago a young couple were never left 
an instant to themselves until they were actually 
married. Nowadays the painful etiquette has been 
relaxed, and the task of marrying thereby simphfied. 
With a tennis racquette in her hand, Fraiilein S. is 
at Uberty to wander in a sohtude h deux through 
the lonehest parts of the forest without any one being 
shocked or surprised. She can even go for days 
up into the mountains for sport without a chaperone, 
and how many matches ski-tours have brought 
about I should not like to say. The ball-room, in 
fact, has sunk out of sight as a matrimonial market. 
In the first place, it is bad form to dance more than 
twice with the same girl unless one is engaged ; in 
the second place, sitting-out corners are unknown, 
so that the young man naturally feels that his 
chances are better out of doors, where his preference 
is not observed by a dozen pair of sharp watching 
eyes. Matters having reached a certain point, he 
then puts on his top-hat and frock-coat and calls 
on Fraiilein S.'s father. He explains his prospects, 
and the father explains his daughter's. Should 



MARRIAGE— BEFORE AND AFTER 197 

both parties be satisfied the candidate proceeds on 
the path of victory in the usual way, and the huge 
notices are sent round to all friends and relations 
announcing the unlooked-for event. Once engaged, 
the young couple are free to do very much what 
they Hke, so long as they do it together. One meets 
them arm-in-arm at all times and at all places and 
without chaperon^, but it is considered bad form 
for the girl to attend any sociabihties without her 
fiance, and vice versa. If friends give a dance or a 
party, they have to invite both or neither — they 
must not and will not be separated. In the ordinary 
course of events, however, the girl drops out of pubHc 
Hfe during her engagement. She has so much to do 
and prepare that she has very Uttle time for the 
amusements with which her disengaged sisters still 
occupy themselves. Even if she is well-to-do, and 
can afford to have her trousseau made for her, there 
are still a great many things which she prefers to 
make or superintend herseK. The trousseau, may 
it be said en passant, does not consist of a hundred 
pairs of everything, as a misguided Enghsh lady 
once informed me. She explained the terrific 
number by the fact (!) that German people only 
send their clothes to the wash twice in the year, 
and must therefore have a large stock to keep them 
going in the meanwhile. This may have been the 
case fifty years ago, but in fifty years quite a number 
of things change, and, as far as I have seen, German 
people either manage the regular and normal weekly 
wash themselves, or send their things in the Enghsh 
fashion to the laundryman, at whom they grumble 
in a fashion altogether international. Hence the 



198 MY GERMAN YEAR 

bride's trousseau is quite a normal, if elaborate, one, 
for where lingerie is concerned the German woman 
is fastidious to a degree. It must be added, too, 
that she brings with her, as a matter of course, the 
whole household equipment. The Hnen, furniture, 
cooking utensils — in fact everything that is required 
for the new home — is supphed by the bride, or rather 
by her parents, and it is this part of the dot which 
falls heaviest on the paternal shoulders. I have 
known famihes who have denied themselves actual 
necessities in order that the marrying daughter 
might start life fittingly. Sometimes the result 
is tragic. I know, for instance, a widowed mother 
whose daughter became engaged to a reputed 
millionaire. Too proud to let her child enter such 
brilliant conditions in a poor and humble style, the 
mother spent the last penny of her fortune on the 
new home. A year later the millionaire was a 
bankrupt, and the old mother had to go out as a 
companion in order to keep husband and wife from 
actual starvation. Such catastrophes are all too 
frequent and all too inevitable in a country where 
family ties are so close, and the sacrifices demanded 
and made so great. Perhaps sacrifice is not the word 
— the German looks upon everything done for the 
family as a simple duty. 

But to return to Fraiilein S. and her preparations, 
which we will suppose have been completed without 
causing too heavy a drain on the paternal purse. 
At last dawns the marriage itself. The night before- 
hand is the Polter Abend, when all relations and 
friends are invited to a last grand merry-making, 
in which the bride and bridegroom play the leading 



MARRIAGE— BEFORE AND AFTER 199 

part. Dancing, amateur theatricals, Kttle enter- 
tainments (usually with pointed reference to the 
engagement and pre-engagement days) fill up the 
evening hours. It is then that the chief presents 
are given, and it becomes the duty of the first of 
the three bridesmaids to present the bride with her 
myrtle-wreath — orange blossom is only used by the 
lower classes — whilst the second hands her the veil, 
and the third the handkerchief. In the Rhine 
Provinces there are only two bridesmaids, who 
escort the bridegroom to the altar, whilst the " best 
men"" act as guard of honour to the bride, but this 
is a local custom, and in South Germany it is usual 
to have three bridesmaids, who, however, are not 
required to wear any particular costume. The 
Polter Abend is a remnant of the old custom of 
celebrating a wedding a week beforehand and a 
week afterwards — a business which, no doubt, 
proved too expensive and too exhausting. As it is, 
it adds considerably to the burden. I suppose in 
every country a wedding is a more or less trying 
business — especially for the bride ; and in Germany, 
what with the Polter Abend and the actual ceremony, 
one would suppose that she would require a rest- 
cure at a sanatorium to get over it. In the first 
place there are the two ceremonies through which 
she must pass before the bond is made legal — the 
civil and the ecclesiastical. The latter can be 
omitted, but the better classes keep to it if only 
because it is considered good form. At eleven 
o'clock in the morning the bride is fetched by the 
bridegroom, and in company with her masculine 
relations repairs to the town hall, where the civil 



200 MY GERMAN YEAR 

ceremony is performed. On her return home the 
bride is hm^ried into her wedding dress, is once more 
fetched by the bridegroom, and the whole clan of 
relations and friends proceed to church. The 
costumes on this occasion strike the Enghsh eye as 
unusual. The men are in evening dress, except for 
those who have the right to wear a uniform, and 
who, of course, wear it. The feminine part of the 
congregation is at its smartest and finest, but there 
is no uniformity amongst the bridesmaids, who 
dress as suits them or their taste. The bride and 
bridegroom go to the altar together, and the cere- 
mony, which is in all cases very simple, then proceeds. 
In Germany not only the woman but the man 
acknowledges his married state by a wedding-ring. 
The two rings are given to the bride and bridegroom 
by the clergyman, but neither are new, having 
previously served as engagement tokens worn on 
the third finger of the left hand, and afterwards 
transferred to the right hand. A short sermon 
follows, dehvered from the altar, and addressed 
directly to the married pair. The text has been 
previously chosen by the bride and bridegroom, 
and is afterwards written in the Bible which is 
presented to them by the clergyman, no matter how 
rich or how poor they may be. 

After the actual wedding the whole party returns 
to the bride's house, and then begins a festive meal 
which puts the German's powers of stoic, cheerful 
endurance to the test. It is a mighty meal, an 
awe-inspiring meal, a really awful meal. The 
clergyman — if he has not found a legitimate excuse 
for escaping — sits between the bride and bridegroom, 



MARRIAGE— BEFORE AND AFTER 201 

and makes a speech in their honour. Then the 
father of the bridegroom makes a speech in honour 
of the bride's family, and the father of the bride 
makes a speech in honour of the bridegroom's 
family, and then come the guests, the ladies, every- 
body en fin, till there is nothing left to toast except 
the wine itself. All this takes some hours — usually 
from three to seven — but no one shows any sign of 
fatigue, and the " Stimmung " rises from degree to 
degree, especially after the pointedly ignored de- 
parture of the bride and bridegroom. The evening 
is concluded with a dance, and if many guests are 
staying in the house, and the bride's mother has 
enough strength left, there is what is called a " Nach- 
Hochzeit," a second festivity the day afterwards. 
Thus a German wedding in the well-to-do circles is 
a mighty affair, and keeps the families of the con- 
tracting parties in close association for nearly a 
week. It is not to be wondered at that, what with 
the length of time and the general matrimonial 
"atmosphere," the saying that one wedding begets 
another is pecuUarly true in Germany. 

Among the lower classes weddings and funerals 
form the chief events of Hfe, and both are very 
serious affairs. In earher days it was the custom 
among the peasants for a specially appointed Jew 
to act as go-between among the families, and arrange 
for suitable marriages and doweries, picking up a 
nice httle percentage for himself by the way. Now- 
adays his expensive services are dispensed with, and 
the peasant manages his business by himself. But 
it is a business, and the financial side of the question 
plays a very serious part. We have at present two 



202 MY GERMAN YEAR 

servants in the house who are on the eve of engage- 
ment with two soldier " friends " — Landsmanner 
from their own village — but there is a delay, for 
which we are only too thankful, because neither of 
the girls has saved sufficient to start the house- 
keeping. Nobody expects the man to have saved 
anything, but a servant girl who has not her fifty 
pounds in the bank is not considered possible, 
however devoted her suitor may be. He will be 
quite prepared to wait, and he will be faithful to 
her, but the money must be there before anything 
definite is settled. Perhaps he is right. At any 
rate, improvident and foolish marriages seem rarer 
here than elsewhere. So our two treasures are 
saving might and main, and I suppose before long we 
shall once more be on the search for other treasures. 
When the time comes their marriage will be a 
modified reproduction of the ceremony I have 
already described. Some time beforehand the 
couple will choose out their three-roomed flat and 
furnish it with the girl's savings, then one Saturday 
morning — it is always a Saturday on account of 
the Sunday holiday — the bridegroom, resplendent in 
frock-coat and top -hat, will arrive and fetch the 
bride, who has adorned herself in a new black dress 
with a white veil and orange blossom. The black 
dress is sometimes exchanged for white, but this 
only happens amongst those who wish to make an 
effect at all costs — the pretentious folk, who care 
more for show and finery than utility. The couple 
then drive in a hired carriage and pair to the town 
hall for the civil ceremony, and then on to church. 
Afterwards they enjoy a ponderous, melancholy 



MARRIAGE— BEFORE AND AFTER 203 

meal, repair to the Stadtgarten for the afternoon, 
enjoy a day's respite, and then — Hfe goes on as usual. 
A genuine peasant wedding is arranged on much 
the same principle, only more weight is laid on 
family, position, etc. No peasant will allow his 
daughter or son to marry out of the " Circle '' or 
into a poorer family, and the ceremony is simply 
the seal on a fair bargain between two business 
people and their firms. The other day, on a tour 
through the Black Forest, I had the good fortune 
to witness just such a wedding. The couple had 
apparently passed through the civil ceremony, for 
when I arrived on the scene the whole cortege was 
on their way to the Kttle village church, the bride 
and bridegroom, magnificent in their picturesque 
'' Tracht,"" leading the way, followed by every 
friend and relation who could be mustered for the 
occasion. The Black Forester is a sombre, melan- 
choly person, and the procession might just as well 
have been a funeral, except for the bright colours 
and ghstening silver ornaments with which the 
women's dresses were adorned. After the marriage 
service, which was held in the broadest dialect, the 
whole party retired into the Gasthaus, where a 
great dinner had been ordered. It must have cost 
the host a good portion of his hard-earned savings — 
it may even have cost him a good deal more than 
he could afford — and nobody seemed to enjoy it in 
the least. Very indiscreetly we peeped through the 
glass doors. The bride and bridegroom sat at the 
centre of the table like two depressed wooden dolls, 
and as far as we could make out nobody smiled or 
spoke during the whole performance. At intervals 



204 MY GERMAN YEAR 

the village string band filled up the silences with 
slow and dreary music, which, after the tables had 
been cleared away, woke to something like a waltz. 
Then the various couples put their arms round each 
other's waists — according to peasant fashion — and 
twirled lugubriously round the room until the 
musicians dropped with exhaustion. But no one 
laughed, no one spoke. The old peasant father sat 
huddled up in a corner, and watched the dancers 
with a grim and melancholy eye — ^no doubt count- 
ing the cost. At any rate it was a very grand 
wedding, so I was told, and probably that com- 
forted him, for the Black Forest Grossbauer is 
an aristocrat pur sang, and would prefer to mort- 
gage his ancestral Hof up to the hilt rather than 
not do the thing properly and according to his 
position. 

To return to the actual courtship, the point that 
impresses the observer most is its sobriety. Let me 
take our two girls as examples. Their suitors call 
on them and request them for the pleasure of a walk, 
which boon they graciously conceed. The pairs 
then go off together — not arm in arm, because they 
are not yet engaged — but at a respectful distance, 
and, as far as one can see, wrapt in impenetrable 
silence. This happens once a week at the most, 
and the monotony is only broken by the yearly 
Kaiser Ball, to which the girls are invited by their 
soldier " friends." Be it admitted that our treasures 
are really treasures domestically and morally ; other 
people may find their servants' a^aires du cceur less 
agreeable, but our Freda and Lena are from the 
country, and have a certain Bauern Stolz which 



MARRIAGE— BEFORE AND AFTER 205 

forbids the slightest unwarranted familiarity, the 
shghtest overstepping of the boundaries of respecta- 
bihty They would no more think of inviting their 
" Schatz " into the kitchen than they would think 
of stealing. But this sohdity of character is typical 
of the German working class. Just as one sees no 
drunkards on the streets, so also is one seldom if 
ever tormented by the sight of brazen-faced couples 
whose exuberant signals of affection cast a blot upon 
the landscape. Here they walk arm in arm or hand 
in hand — pictures of propriety and decorum. It is 
true that there are cases enough of immorahty, but 
for the most part they are atoned for by subsequent 
marriage. A soldier, for instance, is not allowed 
to marry during his two years with the colours, and 
as that is the time when his courtship is usually in 
full progress, it sometimes happens that the marriage 
ceremony has to be postponed to a time which social 
order regards as " too late." But it is performed, 
and that is something to his credit, and it may be 
added that illegitimate children, according to German 
law, are legitunised by the subsequent legal union 
of the parents. 

Aud after marriage ? I have already mentioned 
in an earher chapter that the German wife is far 
from being the brow-beaten, down-trodden creature 
of the fables, but it must be admitted that the 
husband is the recognised master of the situation — 
more through custom than by actual legal right. 
Legally the woman and her fortune can be com- 
pletely safeguarded, but for all practical purposes 
the man is the ruler in the household, and she is 
content that it should be so. She has been brought 



206 MY GERMAN YEAR 

up to regard the man as the being who must and 
should have the best of everything, and obedience 
to his wishes and requirements is too deeply en- 
grained in her for any resistance. She contents 
herself — perhaps wisely — ^with a subtle underground 
influence, and the respect with which she is treated 
by her husband and her children. For the average 
German does not abuse his power and authority; 
and whatever else he forgets, he never forgets that 
his wife is the mother of his children. That one 
fact seems to bind him to her, and to raise her as 
high in his estimation as any intellectual quahties 
could do. It is the same with the children, who, 
although they have escaped from the harsh rigour 
of a few generations ago, are still brought up to 
treat their parents with respect and deference, even 
when they are grown up and independent. It is 
often quite startHng for the English observer to see 
how young men, well in their majority, will obey 
without question or protest their father's abrupt 
and somewhat military commands. Yet, on the 
whole, German family Hfe seems to me very peaceful 
and united. The members hang tenaciously to- 
gether, are usually devoted to each other, and 
domestic scandals and disagreements seem remark- 
able for their rarity. Divorce is easy to obtain, but 
it is looked upon as the highest disgrace, and, guilty 
or innocent, the mere fact that he has been a party 
in a divorce case is sufficient to ruin a man's pro- 
fessional career. (An oflftcer, for instance, who has 
been divorced, or who has divorced his wife, is 
practically compelled to send in his commission.) 
As divorce cases are all carried on de camera, the 



MARRIAGE— BEFORE AND AFTER 207 

newspapers and a certain section of the public are 
cheated of many a sensational tit-bit, but I have not 
found that this consideration for individual feelings 
and public morality in any way increases the 
number of those seeking release from their conjugal 
ties. To be divorced is in itself a stigma which the 
details neither abate nor increase, and divorces are 
comparitively rare — pecuHarly rare, one might say, 
when it is taken into consideration that there are 
no legal separations, and that divorce is the one 
and only remedy. No doubt the German character 
is largely responsible for this peaceful state of 
things. Tenacious, slow, imbued from his birth with 
a great sense of duty, not given either to excess or 
excitement, faithful and conscientious, the German 
has all the quahties which go to make a satisfactory 
husband. Perhaps he would not suit the more 
independent Englishwoman — though, curiously 
enough, I know of twenty of my countrywomen in 
Karlsruhe alone who have run the risk without 
regretting it — but he suits the German woman as 
thoroughly as she suits him, and what more could 
be desired ? 



CHAPTER XIV 

/lNOTHER fable — CHEAP GERMANY 

MY German Friend caused a mild commotion the 
other day by appearing at the breakfast table 
with a face flushed with excitement and pleasure. 

*' Just think what has happened ! '' she entreated. 
" Just try and imagine ! "" 

Of course, as was expected and desired, nobody 
could imagine what had happened, though a few 
improbable suggestions were made. The great news 
was then burst upon us. 

" Something has grown cheaper ! " 

" What ? " 

" Bread ! " 

General looks of strong disbehef. 

" It must be the first of April. How much ? " 

" A whole pfennig a loaf ! " 

It was true. The astounding thing had actually 
come to pass — something had really grown cheaper. 
It was almost too good to be beheved — we felt that an 
avenging Nemesis in the form of a new tax on matches 
or something equally necessary would immediately 
appear on the scene to quench our joy, but as yet — the 
incident I have just related occurred two days ago — 
nothing has happened, so we are beginning to breathe 
again. It will be seen, however, that cheapness is 



CHEAP GERMANY 209 

something unusual, indeed practically unknown in a 
German household ; and the hopeful EngHsh family- 
proposing to come and settle in the Fatherland in 
order to " economise '' had better change their 
minds and go elsewhere. I know just such a family, 
and I know all the experiences they went through, 
so that I feel myself in a position to act as warning 
spirit to any one labouring under the old delusion. 
This family was particularly sanguine. 

" What we want,"" wrote the mother, " is a nice 
little eight-room house with just enough garden for 
the children to play in. Of course a bathroom and a 
good kitchen will be necessary, and above all things it 
must be cheap. I am sure in a small town like Karls- 
ruhe one can get a nice house at a very low rent, and I 
should be very grateful if you would be on the look-out 
for something suitable.^' 

I remonstrated so earnestly that I fancy the poor 
lady thought I had my private reasons for not wanting 
her in the neighbourhood. At any rate she ignored 
all my warnings and protests, and landed, with the 
whole family, at the best hotel. 

" It looked so shabby that I was sure it would be 
cheap," she explained to me in triumph over her fine 
instinct in the matter of economy. There are some 
people whom it is wiser to leave to wander to their 
destruction in their own way, so I said nothing, 
trusting that the first week's hotel bill would be 
sufficiently convincing. My friend did not have to 
wait a week, however, before her eyes were very wide 
open indeed. 

*'But," she exclaimed, after the first day's exhaust- 
ing search after a suitable place of residence, " where 
14 



210 MY GERMAN YEAR 

are the houses ? Everybody lives in flats. Why do 
they live in flats ? They are horrid/' 

" They are cheaper/' I ventured meekly. 

'' Why ? " 

" Because you can build as high as you like 
without having to pay more ground rent. Only 
the rich people have their own houses.'' 

" How horrible ! Aren't there any small houses 
to be had then — ^you know, nice Httle semi-detached 
villas for about £60 a year ? Surely in a small town 
like this/' — etc. etc. 

I showed her what there was to be had. There are 
some charming houses in Karlsruhe — ^real works of 
art, with every imaginable comfort and convenience 
except a garden, and rents ranging from £150 to £300 
a year. They reduced my friend almost to tears. 

" One hundred and eighty pounds for an eight- 
roomed house without a garden ? — ^why, it is preposter- 
ous ! " she told the house-agent in her best German. 
He looked very offended and threw open the window, 
displaying a backyard some ten feet by six. 

" There is the garden ! " he said, in a tone which 
said plainly what more could you want ? " And as 
to the price," he went on, " it is very low for Karls- 
ruhe." Which latter statement was perfectly true. 
We ourselves, as I proceeded to explain, Hve in an old- 
fashioned house with ten rooms and a backyard which 
we have succeeded in transforming into a miniature 
garden — no electric hght, no central heating, no hot 
water, blessed with the close proximity of a railway, 
and a rent of £150 a year. And the landlord treats 
us as though he were indulging in a kind of noble- 
hearted charity in not raising our rent by another 



CHEAP GERMANY 211 

£20. All this sounded very depressing, and, with the 
justice which is usual in such cases, my friend remarked 
that it would have been kinder if I had told her all this 
before. In the first moment of wrath and indignation 
she wanted to pack up and move on to a " typical 
cheap German town," but it was pointed out to her 
that unless she wanted to bury herself in what is called 
a " Nest," she would find nothing cheaper — ^that in 
fact the "typical cheap German town" is no more than 
a fable of times long past. This and the hotel bill 
helped to crush her last resistance, and she condescended 
to take a flat with the meek observation that *' perhaps 
it would not be so bad." The flat was on the fourth 
floor in a quiet part of the town, and consisted of five 
rooms, a kitchen of minute dimensions without a 
range, and an equally minute bathroom without a 
bath. For this Eldorado she paid £75 a year, and was 
told that she had done well. The next point was the 
servant question. My German Friend here came to 
the rescue, and obtained the services of an honest, 
red-cheeked girl from the country, who declared 
herseK a cook and able to do any amount of work. 
My EngHsh friend smiled again — for the first- time 
since the first day's house hunting — ^when she heard 
the wages, and she smiled still more when she saw 
what prodigies of industry and goodwill that small 
sum of £15 a year had procured. 

" She can't cook much," she admitted, " but she 
works from morning to night, and is always so cheerful 
and willing and quite content to have only Sunday 
afternoon free. As soon as I have got her into cap 
and apron she will do splendidly." 

But the cap and apron proved the hitch. Neither 



212 MY GERMAN YEAR 

good words nor threats would induce the paragon 
to change her own pecuHar and miscellaneous costume. 
Although the sight of the rather slatternly object at 
the front door nearly broke my friend's heart, she had 
to yield to the inevitable. 

" If you want a girl who will wear a cap and apron 
you will have to pay double and she will do half the 
work," she was told by the authorities, and after that 
the sturdy little maid-of-all-work was allowed to 
wander to the market hatless, capless, with a blue 
apron and a coUarless blouse without protest. 

For a time all went well. After true English 
fashion my friend proceeded to continue her Hf e on the 
English method without regard to the fact that she 
was no longer in England. She had, for instance, 
Enghsh breakfasts of ham and eggs, etc., and it was 
only after a few weeks that those luxuries disappeared 
unhonoured and unsung from the daily menu. After 
that the evening dinner vanished, and we were 
cautiously questioned as to how we lived and what 
we ate. 

" I can't imagine what the Germans live on or how 
they manage to get so fat," she complained queru- 
lously — she was still blindly determined that all 
Germans are abnormally stout. " Everything is so 
frightfully dear. Meat is appalling. For a moderately 
good piece I have to pay twice as much as I would in 
England. Bread is twice as expensive, butter twice 
as expensive, vegetables twice as expensive, tea 
three times as expensive — the only thing one can 
get cheaply is home-grown fruit, and one can't live 
on that all day." 

I agreed with her, and pointed out that as a logical 



CHEAP GERMANY 213 

consequence the grand EngKsh meals are unknown 
here even amongst the well-to-do famiHes. A break- 
fast of coffee and rolls, a midday meal of soup, meat, 
and pudding, a simple tea with bread and butter, 
a supper of cold meat, cheese, or fruit — such is the 
culinary programme of nearly every house in Karls- 
ruhe. In a great many of the moderately situated 
famiHes the midday pudding is altogether discarded, 
and I doubt if an5rwhere a four-course dinner is 
the usual thing. This applies to other towns and to 
the richest people. Everjrwhere there is the same 
simplicity where food is concerned. The food is good 
and plentiful on wealthy tables — on poorer tables it 
is not so good or so plentiful, that is the chief differ- 
ence. This simpHcity is partly the result of taste, 
partly the result of the high rate of Hving. My EngHsh 
friend exaggerated when she said that everything was 
twice as expensive in Germany — a third would have 
been nearer the truth — but it is not an exaggeration 
to say that an English person is only half as rich here 
as in his own land. Unless he adapts himseff to the 
German mode of living, and drops the luxuries to 
which he is accustomed, he will find himself very badly 
off indeed. The German is not badly off, and does not 
feel the increasing financial burden so heavy, simply 
because he is, and has always been, content to live 
quietly and to do without what he considers the 
unnecessary things of hfe. He lays no stress on 
appearances. You will never find a German pinching 
and squeezing the family purse in order to dress well 
or in the latest fashion. Clothes are appallingly 
expensive — I use the word " appalling " in all 
seriousness — not only in Karlsruhe but everywhere, 



214 MY GERMAN YEAR 

and the direct consequence is the badly-dressed 
people which sadden the German streets. It is no 
doubt part tastelessness, but it is also in no small 
degree because good and tasteful things are only to be 
had for heavy gold. The rich people do dress well, 
because they can afford unnecessary luxuries, but 
there are not many rich people hereabouts, and the 
moderately circumstanced folk are quite content to 
go shabby and Kve simply, reserving their money 
for things which they do consider necessary — educa- 
tion, holidays, the theatre, concerts, and so on. 

In this brief review of German living I must not 
forget the taxes which cause the periodical out- 
bursts of indignation. On the whole they seem 
to me irritating but more justly divided. Not only 
the rich are taxed but everybody down to the 
kitchen-maid with her £15 a year. It must be very 
galHng to have to part with even a few shilhngs of 
such hard-earned wages, and still more galling to 
have to render account of all tips and money- 
presents, but nowadays one is so sorry for the poor 
rich people in one's own country that the system of 
general taxation seems quite acceptable. The lower 
classes accept this income tax with comparatively 
little complaint — it is the indirect taxation which 
causes the most wrath. The tax on matches is the 
latest injury over which the German people are 
brooding, and many and cunning are the ways in 
which the objectionable burden is shirked, some 
people even going to the length of making their own 
matches. Which proves, I think, that it is more 
the German love of grumbling and protesting than 
real suffering, since the saving is minimum and the 



CHEAP GERMANY 215 

time wasted considerable. At the same time the 
taxes in Germany are sufficiently heavy to make 
living for many famiUes distinctly problematic. 
On an income, we will say, of £159 the direct taxation 
will be about £3, and the indirect taxation, the price 
of food and dwelling, will make the expenditure of 
the rest an all too easy matter. But the German 
adapts himself quickly, and what is more he is not in 
the least ashamed of adapting himself. 

" Food has grown more expensive — therefore 
I shall not have a new dress this summer,"" says 
Frau S. ; " therefore I shall not entertain so 
much, therefore we shall do without such and such 
a dainty or pleasure." And she brings the required 
sacrifices without more ado. Wealth and poverty 
are, after all, purely relative and form her standpoint. 
She is quite as well off and quite as capable of further 
sacrifices as the English lady who appears every 
evening in full gala to partake of a four-course 
dinner served by daintily-dressed parlour-maids. To 
tell the truth, I do not think that either Frau S. 
or her husband would at all appreciate either the 
gala, the dinner, or the parlour-maids. I am con- 
vinced the gala and the servants alone would be 
quite sufficient to spoil all Gemiithchkeit in their 
eyes. 

After all this the natural question for the more 
fastidious and deHcately nurtured Enghshman to 
ask is. Why do so many foreigners come to Germany, 
and why is it that once they have settled they 
usually stay in spite of their grumbhngs ? Being 
myself a case in point, I should be able to answer 
the question, and yet I find a decided difficulty. 



216 MY GERMAN YEAR 

There are many answers, but the chief answer is 
something so vague and indefinable that it is hard 
to express in words. It is true — food, dwelHng, 
and clothes, the three great necessities of life, are 
dearer here, and in many ways not so good, and yet 
it is also true that there are other things to be had 
which in England are beyond the reach of the poor 
man. There is a wonderful charm in the easy-going, 
simple, and unpretentious life, and it is the advantage 
of allowing the German and his imitator to indulge 
in certain luxuries, in certain pleasures which are 
dearer to him than fine clothes, fine homes, and 
expensive food. The German will bear anything, 
shabby clothes, stufiy flats, and plain living, so long 
as he can enjoy himself in his own way, so long as 
he can afford a long yearly holiday, expeditions into 
the country, afternoons in the Stadt garten, concerts, 
and last but not least a regular attendance at the 
great National School, of which I shall speak in the 
next Chapter. 



CHAPTEE XV 

THE THEATRE AND MUSICAL LITE 

I THINK if I had no other reasons for Kving in 
Germany I should still stay on for the sake of 
the doctors and the theatre. Hence enviable people 
who never need the former, and unenviable people 
who never want the latter, will find themselves 
deprived of two of the things which are at once 
cheap and good in this country. Of the doctors, 
I need only re-echo from my own experience what 
the world knows — namely, that they are briUiant 
specialists who do not charge two guineas for con- 
ferring on you the inestimable boon of telling you 
to come again. Of the theatre I can say with 
conviction that it is an institution to which Germany 
owes more than perhaps even she reaUses, and of 
which she has the right to be proud above all 
nations. 

In no country in the world does the theatre 
play so mighty and so recognised a part. In 
England the theatre is a relaxation, a place of enter- 
tainment ; in Germany it is an education, a serious 
institution, and according to the standpoint from 
which it is judged it has become in the one country 
a place for second and third class amusement, and 
in the other a temple of Art, a great school for those 

817 



218 MY GERMAN YEAR 

who have left the elementary steps of learning 
behind them. If this statement is disputed, I need 
only ask what self-respecting father in a middle- 
sized EngUsh town would dream of sending his 
eighteen year old daughter as a matter of course 
once or even twice a week to the local theatre ? 
The very idea would make him throw up his hands 
in horror. He would declare that such a proceeding 
would be the ruin of his daughter's character and 
morals, that he would be laying her open to the 
danger of hearing the most wretched clap-trap — if 
not worse — that was ever written. And he would 
be perfectly right. The most he does is to take 
her once a year to London, and if he has the unusual 
luck to hit upon the season of a reckless manager 
indifierent to earthly gain, he may be able to take 
her to a Shakespearean performance, otherwise he 
has the choice between very doubtful after-dinner 
society plays, vulgar pantomime, stupid and trivial 
musical comedies, and harmless Uttle farces which 
have no value except as a passe-temps for those 
who have no brains left for anything deeper. The 
German who goes to London is always pathetically 
disappointed. 

" I suppose Shakespeare was an Englishman, 
wasn't he ? " one young student remarked to me 
after a visit to England. I said that I beHeved so, 
unless the Germans had recently adopted him. 

'* Then why is London the only capital in the 
world where you can't hear his plays acted ? " 

" Oh, but you can sometimes. Only just lately, 
for instance, we have been having a Shakespearean 
revival." 



THEATRE AND MUSICAL LIFE 219 

" Revival ! You don't mean to say you revive 
Shakespeare ? Why, we have never let him die. You 
can see him every day and on any German theatre — 
we have always made a special study of him." 

Then, after a long, rather uncomfortable pause — 

" Who is your greatest playwright just now ? " 

I ventured a few names. He shook his head at 
all of them except Bernhard Shaw, whom he recognised 
and seemed to appreciate. 

" Yes, but he is something unusual — not strictly 
dramatic. Haven't you any one like our Hauptmann, 
or Sudermann, or Uke the French Rostenxi ? " CL 

" The most amusing part was the audience,"' 
he said laughing. " When anybody on the stage did 
or said anything noble or heroic the people clapped, 
and when the sentimental parts came a thin orchestra 
played a melancholy accompaniment. I suppose 
every nation has its tastes and ideals, but both actions 
seemed to me unworthy of serious drama." 

The expression " serious drama " stuck in my 
memory as something unusual. It occurred to me that 
the EngHshman does not go to the theatre for serious 
drama, he goes to be amused and digest his dinner. 
Under such circumstances the theatre cannot be 
serious in the best sense ; it can be thrilling, dramatic, 
realistic, but it cannot reach a high level because a 
high level is not required or appreciated, and remains 
the risky experiment of a Quixotic manager. 
Hence it is only natural that to go to the theatre as 
regularly and as often as the German does would, in 
England, be proof of a decided frivohty, not to say 
immorality. But here in Karlsruhe nearly every 
moderately well-to-do family has its season ticket 



220 MY GERMAN YEAR 

for the theatre, which allows for two, and sometimes 
three performances a week, and the grown-up girl 
who has not seen the chief masterpieces of the 
German and foreign classics, besides a goodly number 
of modern dramatic works, would think that her 
education had been shamefully neglected. Her 
education, be it observed ! It is the same with 
music. Whatever else must be sacrificed, the family 
must have its opera. They go as shabby as you like 
and sit on the cheapest seats without shame, but go 
they must. And it must be added that poverty can 
prove no real barrier. In Karlsruhe, for instance — 
and again Karlsruhe is fairly typical in this respect — it 
is possible to hear all the classic plays at specially 
reduced prices, which means that a seat in the gallery 
costs twenty pf., and the best seat in the house three 
marks. On such occasions the theatre is crammed 
from floor to ceihng. Every class is represented. 
The schoolboy, the schoolgirl, the shopkeeper, the shop- 
keeper's assistant, the student, the soldier, the under- 
officer, the officer himself, and far away up among 
the gods the ordinary day-labourer. The particular 
performance which I have in mind was Schiller's 
Jungfrau von Orleans, and it was hard to decide 
which was the most absorbing — the play or the 
audience. The former was well staged and per- 
formed, but the wrapt, earnest faces, the absolute, 
attentive quiet of that heterogeneous crowd, brought 
together solely by actual love of the thing, was 
perhaps the more impressive, the more inspiring. As 
I have said, that was a special " cheap '' performance. 
The ordinary prices for a play or opera — the theatre 
here serves for both — is from eighty pf. to seven 



THEATRE AND MUSICAL LIFE 221 

marks, but the season-ticket holder gets his place 
for about half the price. Besides the numberless 
free seats which are given to deserving cases, there are 
big reductions made for students at the Polytechni- 
cum, Art Schools, and Conservatorium, and once a 
year the whole of Wagner's Ring is given in an extra 
abonnement, which means that on the best seats the 
whole four evenings cost sixteen marks, and on the 
cheaper seats about four marks. I give these details 
to show that the theatre and its educational advan- 
tages are within the reach of every one, and it is only 
fair to add that the performances are first class even 
when compared to those of larger and richer theatres. 
It is only necessary to mention that Mottle was 
fifteen years conductor here, and that many of the 
singers have performed in Covent Garden and 
Ba5a:euth, to prove that it is not a case of cheapness 
and poor quahty. 

Those wonderful evenings in my German Year ! 
Though they recur so constantly they do not lose 
their charm or their impressiveness — rather each 
time I am more stirred to respect and admiration 
for the deep-rooted love of the great and beautiful, 
which must be as well in the audience as in the 
performers. They are not fashionable evenings — 
nothing could be a greater contrast than an evening 
in the Karlsruhe Court Theatre and an evening in 
Covent Garden. Nobody goes because it is " the 
thing,'" nobody goes to show ofi diamonds and fine 
clothes. Dowdy and shabby, Karlsruhe's Httle world 
plants itself in every place it can get hold of, and sits 
or stands there in breathless silence from the warning 
tap of the conductor's baton to the fall of the curtain, 



222 MY GERMAN YEAK 

when it delivers its judgment either in rapturous 
enthusiasm or merely compHmentary applause — 
according to the performance. For the Karlsruhers 
are very critical and not easily satisfied. 

One would suppose that six hours of serious 
so-called " heavy " music would appeal only to the 
elect and highly educated, but a glance up at the 
gallery of the Court Theatre on a Wagner evening 
proves quite the contrary. It is an orderly crowd 
that sits up among the gods, but it is a crowd com- 
posed of the poorest classes. I remember some 
time ago a special performance of Tannhauser 
which was being given with a famous guest in the 
title role. I had neglected to procure a seat before- 
hand, and was told at the ticket office that only one 
single place in the topmost gallery was to be had. 
In Germany one can do as one Ukes in such matters, 
so I took the seat and went. The stage was not 
visible from my point of view, though the music 
sounded better than from any other part of the 
theatre, so my eyes were free to study the faces 
about me. For the most part they were quite common 
faces, and poverty was written all over the respect- 
able though shabby clothes. Nevertheless in that 
hour at least my neighbours seemed to be neither 
common nor poor. Some of those nearest me sat 
with closed eyes, others had their heads supported 
in their hands — but no one moved, no one spoke. 
Only once, during EHzabeth's prayer, a woman's 
hand stretched over the seat behind and grasped 
my shoulder. It was a thin, work-worn hand, 
not very clean. I turned and looked at her in some 
annoyance. She was a poor-looking creature of 



THEATRE AND MUSICAL LIFE 223 

the market-woman class, but her face was illmninated, 

transfigured with a kind of ecstasy which I shall 

never forget. I said nothing, and when the prayer 

ended she dropped back with a muttered apology. 

No one heeded or noticed the incident. It was 

as though each one of those weary toilers had thrown 

aside, their daily cares and wandered ofi for a brief 

respite into another world, which belongs to the 

lowest and the highest if he have but ears to hear 

and eyes to see. It was a Sunday evening, but I 

think the strictest Sabbatarian must have hesitated 

before condemning had he for once broken his law 

and sat beside me in that dense crowd of dreamers. 

I think he must have admitted that it is better to 

listen to ennobling music than to loaf round pubHc- 

house corners — to be elevated to a higher sphere 

at least once a week, than be dragged lower by a 

day's depraving idleness. On such an evening 

one finds one of the answers to the question. Why 

is it that a German Sunday crowd is quieter, more 

decent and respectable, than our own ? It is not 

least because the people are not flung entirely on 

their own resources, not compelled to seek their 

pleasures in the lowest quarter. They are offered 

the best at the lowest possible price. On Sunday, 

their one and only hoHday, the galleries and theatre 

are open to them, and he who prefers to seek mental 

refreshment rather than the pleasures of the pubhc- 

house is at least given the chance to respond to the 

higher incHnation. And it is noteworthy how many 

do respond from all classes, even from the lowest. The 

German State has, indeed, recognised a fact which 

we have always chosen to ignore, namely, that 



224 MY GERMAN YEAR 

a National Theatre and Opera is something more 
than a hot-house for national talent — ^it is an immense 
power, a subtle method of influencing the Hves and 
characters and thoughts of a whole people. Only 
a State theatre, or a theatre supported by a fixed 
official income, dare make an ennobhng use of that 
influence. A self-supporting theatre must eventu- 
ally lower itself to its audience, it has not the finan- 
cial strength to fight against the public taste, already 
ruined by the unwholesome fare offered it. Here 
the State theatre has done its work regardless of 
gain or loss. The people, down to the lowest, have 
been educated nolens volens to appreciate the best ; 
they have had no rubbish offered them to satisfy 
their lower tastes; they have been dehberately 
forced upwards ; and now that the higher standard 
has been obtained, it is possible for a private theatre 
to exist and retain that standard. The packed 
house which responded to the invitation to witness 
an old classic tragedy proved that the audience 
was ripe enough to appreciate what was offered 
them, and who can calculate the^ benefit which was 
gathered from such an evening ? But the State 
Theatre is still a necessity ; it is, as it were, the back- 
bone of the dramatic and musical national fife, 
the high-water mark which the private theatres 
must struggle to attain at all costs. Moreover, 
the State Theatre raises not only the audience, but 
it can afford to place the performers in a higher and 
more secure position, socially and financially. A 
singer or an actor in a State Theatre is a State official ; 
he receives a settled income, and after a certain 
number of years' service a small but sufficient pension. 



THEATRE AND MUSICAL LIFE 225 

In Karlsruhe, for instance, he is the direct servant 
of the Grand Duke, to whom the theatre belongs. 
He is presented at Court, and so long as he proves 
himself capable and worthy of the position accorded 
him, he can always count on the interest and support 
of his royal master. It cases where a great talent 
is in question he is the spoilt darhng, granted long 
leave to travel as guest to other theatres and other 
countries, receiving his full salary the whole time, 
only compelled to sing when it pleases him and 
what pleases him, and even has his debts paid for 
him. Naturally this refers only to the chief actors 
and singers, but even the lesser hghts can, if they 
are careful, secure a Hvehhood. On the whole, 
therefore, their position is enviable compared to 
that of those engaged in private theatres, where 
there are no pensions, where only " season " engage- 
ments and uncertain pay are to be obtained. 

The besetting dangers of a State Theatre — ^red- 
tapeism and a narrow - minded censorship — are 
escaped here with remarkable success. Occasion- 
ally a worthless piece is dragged on to the stage 
through patronage, and occasionally a modern master- 
piece is ignored because it does not conform to the 
rigor of the Court morahty, but both mistakes are 
only the exaggeration of two valuable virtues. The 
same patronage has brought to Kght many an 
ignored genius — every one knows, for instance, what 
Wagner owed to the Bang of Bavaria — and the 
same censorship keeps out the poisonous rubbish 
which infests private theatres. The State recog- 
nises its responsibihty, and if it is sometimes over- 
zealous, the fault is on the right side. 
15 



226 MY GERMAN YEAR 

The power of the State Theatre lies in the fact 
that it is not limited to the capital. Every moderate 
sized town in Germany has its Court or Town Theatre, 
where the masterpieces of every language and 
the greatest works of the composers are produced 
from September to June, without interruption, for 
a sum which is within the reach of every one. I 
have visited other theatres outside Karlsruhe, and 
have never found that the standard has been lowered 
— I do not think that the standard could be lowered 
without financial loss. It is significant, for instance, 
that at Carnival, when, to suit the season, an operetta 
is given, the theatre is comparatively empty. 
Possibly the people are otherwise occupied ; but 
when *' Tristan and Isolde "" is given, no matter 
what the season, the house is packed from floor 
to ceiHng. I remember last July that Wagner's 
great masterpiece was given as the last performance 
in the theatrical year. It was a suffocating summer's 
night, when you would have supposed that no ordinary 
human being would willingly endure the atmosphere 
of a theatre, still less have the mental energy to 
listen with intelligence to five hours of the most 
serious music. An operetta — yes, but ** Tristan 
and Isolde '' ! Nevertheless the house was sold 
out, there was not even standing room left. Doubt- 
less there is a pecular charm in those midsummer 
nights' performances. In Karlsruhe the theatre 
is situated on the borders of the Castle grounds, 
in front stretches the broad flower-grown Schloss- 
platz, and between the acts one wanders out into the 
clear night air and watches the moon rise over the 
forest trees with the lingering echoes of well-loved 



THEATRE AND MUSICAL LIFE 227 

motifs still ringing in one's ears. It reminds one 

of Bayreuth, save that in Bayreuth it is the sinking 

sun over the hills which greets the audience as it 

streams out ; but there is the same " Stimmung,*' 

the same consciousness that those about one are 

stirred by the same emotions, are listening and 

responding to the same harmonies. Perhaps even 

more here than there one is impressed and inspired 

with the knowledge that they are all music-lovers, 

not imitative parrots of fashion seeking to do " the 

latest thing."' It is that genuine whole-souled 

love and understanding which raises a Wagner 

performance, even in a small German town, to the 

level of the grandest Covent Garden effort. The 

atmosphere — the " Stimmung " is everything. A 

few years ago a celebrated German conductor was 

offered an engagement for two years in America 

to conduct in a series of operas, for which he was 

to receive — for German ideas — a fabulous salary. 

At the end of the first year he came back, with the 

despairing declaration that he could not stand it — 

not even at the highest price. The consciousness 

that the audience did not understand and appreciate 

as he was accustomed to them understanding and 

appreciating paralysed him, paralysed his orchestra, 

and paralysed the singers. No doubt things are 

better to-day, but it is inevitable that music, and 

to some extent drama, should stand at a higher 

level in a country where they are intelhgently 

appreciated by the people. The theatre in Germany 

is financially supported by the State, but above 

all it is supported by the need for it in the heart 

of the multitude. It is only necessary to count 



228 MY GERMAN YEAR 

the institutions, Vereins, schools, with which Karls- 
ruhe is inundated to feel how deep that need is. 
There are at least a dozen choral societies, composed 
for the most part of the lower classes, under the 
direction of a professional musician ; as many schools 
where a first-class musical education can be had for 
a few pounds a year ; and more private orchestras, 
quartettes, than I should hke to count. There is 
also a large and important Bach Society, which next 
Sunday is giving a lecture on its patron musician, 
with an illustrating concert for the benefit of the 
working classes — a musical event which, I am told, 
will be honoured by the attendance of all the factory 
folk in and about Karlsruhe. This Bach Society 
reminds me of a poor little sewing-woman, who 
used to come to our house to attend to the dilapi- 
dated household goods. She always looked so 
thin and ill and poverty-stricken that it seemed 
a cruelty to suggest work to her, but her frail body 
was kept aUve by an inexhaustible fund of energy, 
and she was all eagerness and wilHngness. One 
day she brought back our damaged possessions, 
together with an additional burden in the form of 
a stout volume of Bach's oratorios. 

" I had to come a little earher, Gnadiges Fraulein,"' 
she apologised meekly. " You see, we have practice 
this evening."" 

" Practice ? " I echoed. 

" Yes ; I belong to the Bach Verein. We are hard 

at work at the Matthauspassion for the next concert." 

** Do you sing, then ? "' The question was 

pardonable, for she was coughing most of the time, 

and her voice sounded dry and husky. 



THEATRE AND MUSICAL LIFE 229 

" Only a little ; but they say I have a good 
ear, and sometimes I just sit and listen. It is so 
beautiful/' 

Her whole face had hghted up, she looked stronger 
and healthier for that short moment. I beheve 
that without that one pleasure, that one bright 
spot in her hfe, the httle strength she had would 
long since have been broken. Some time after- 
wards circumstances made it necessary for me to 
seek her out in her own dwelhng. It was scarcely 
more than a divided cupboard at the back of some 
old houses, and in the one division was her bed — 
in the other her piano. The miserable bed and 
the carefully tended piano made a picture whose 
explanation needed no words. It told sufficiently 
of a great sacrifice made to the ruHng passion of 
a seemingly wretched and sunless existence. And 
her case is not isolated. In greater or lesser degree 
the average German of every class sacrifices some- 
thing of his time, his money, and above all his interest, 
to music. From the over-worked schoolboy who 
spends his few spare hours at the piano, to the busi- 
ness man who plays regularly quartette, one finds 
the same earnest enthusiasm, the same love and 
understanding. 

It goes without saying that the half -terrible, 
half-ridiculous spectre of dilettantism is not wholly 
banished from German soil. The maiden who 
revels in Mendelssohn's " Songs Without Words," and 
pretty showy Httle pieces de salon with trills in the 
right hand and a running accompaniment in the 
left, may sometimes be met, but she is not admired 
as an infant prodigy — even by her family — and she 



230 MY GERMAN YEAR 

is firmly suppressed by public taste, so that one 
hears very little of her. The average German is 
a true musician ; and if it be true that " the man 
who hath no music in his soul is fit for treason/' 
then by inversion the Teuton must be the most 
trustworthy man on earth. And, indeed, I am 
not sure that my affection and admiration for him 
has not grown fastest in the dim Karlsruhe theatre, 
when the music of the greatest Germans has broken 
upon the tense stillness. I am not sure that in the 
stifling atmosphere of the fourth gallery I did 
not learn to know him at his best and truest — as 
the musician and the dreamer. 



CHAPTER XVI 



EDUCATION 



IN the course of my German year — or rather 
years — it has been my fate to meet many 
people belonging to many different circles and of all 
ages. Some have merely passed across my horizon, 
others have remained, but whether my acquaintance 
with them has been merely superficial or otherwise, 
they have as a whole impressed me as people either 
exceptionally intelhgent or exceptionally well- 
educated. I have not made up my mind as to the 
exceptional intelligence — I divide German women, 
for instance, into two distinct groups, the intensely 
wide-awake or the intensely dull — but certainly it is 
very seldom that one stumbles over such crass 
ignorance as one sometimes finds in England, even 
amongst the so-called educated classes. It never 
struck me until I had been some time in Germany 
that there was anything wrong with our system 
of education, or that our standard was not the 
highest; and when a German professor informed 
me in a courteous roundabout way that Enghsh 
schools were delightful places, where one learnt as 
little as possible at the highest possible price, I was 
most indignant. Then gradually, by force of com- 
parison, my national self-satisfaction dwindled, and 

231 



232 MY GERMAN YEAR 

I have been forced to the concluionthat the professor's 
statement was not wholly without justification — 
especially where women's education is concerned. 
There are no doubt one or two pubHc schools for 
girls in England where a sound education can be 
obtained, but if one may judge by results, the average 
private school, if an abode of happiness, is httle better 
than the finishing establishment of our grandmothers. 
I know too many EngUsh girls of average intelhgence 
who have been the " best " pupils at first-class and 
very expensive boarding-schools, not to have been able 
to form an estimate of the average EngUsh girl's 
knowledge. As a rule she can read inteUigently, 
sometimes she can write correctly — but by no means 
always — she can add and subtract, and make herself 
a nuisance on the piano. Add to that a blur of 
geography, history, and Hterature, a few sentences of 
atrocious French and worse German, and you have 
the sum-total of her earthly wisdom. Her parents 
are very proud; she plays tennis excellently, and to all 
appearances is mentally well-equipped, for have they 
not paid £150 a year for her education, and has she 
not passed the Cambridge Higher Local with first- 
class honours ? But ask that same prodigy a single 
question outside her so-called "' period," ask her a 
single question concerning modern literature or modern 
events, and she looks at you in absolute blankness. 
In truth, she has been crammed with her periods 
for that examination — " the rest is silence." Cram- 
ming for and the love of examinations is the curse of 
English education; the examinations themselves prove 
next to nothing, and sometimes are wholly misleading, 
and the system by which pupils are dragged up to 



EDUCATION 233 

grasp the empty glory is enough to make somid know- 
ledge an impossibihty. The German pedagogue 
starts out on his task with an entirely different 
theory. Examinations in themselves count for very 
little in his eyes ; it is the year's work, the class work 
of the pupil which matters. The examination is the 
tolerated evil — not the end-all and the be-all of a 
school career. He regards the school, moreover, as a 
preparation for education — not the education itself, 
which begins after the boy or girl has left school — 
and it is essential, therefore, that the preparation 
should be as thorough and embrace the widest 
possible ground. There must be no vagueness, no 
collecting of scraps or poHshing up of set periods. 
What the pupil learns must be learnt in a way which 
will make it of lasting utihty to him. But there is a 
shadowy side to the preparation. It is said that 
the German schoolboy and girl are overworked, and 
there is all too much truth in the statement ; the 
pressure put upon them is extreme, and leads some- 
times to tragic breakdowns. Few Germans look 
back upon their school days with any particular 
pleasure ; it is for them the time when they work 
hardest, have least leisure, are least children. A 
little six-year-old boy of my acquaintance, who, after 
his first week at school, asked his mother, " Then, 
shall I never be able to play again ? " voiced the 
pathetic appeal of the greater number of German 
children. From the hour that they pass through 
the school doors they have ceased to be children — 
they have become workers, responsible beings, to 
whom hfe has become an immense, serious reahty, 
and play an ever-decreasing interlude. The evil of 



234 MY GERMAN YEAR 

the system is apparent to every one, and efforts are 
being made to check it, to find a middle path between 
the Enghsh slackness and the German high pressm:e 
— hitherto with Httle success. The reason that the 
German is advancing so rapidly in the world is that 
he spares no one, least of all himseK. " Either you 
are fit, and then you must bear the burden, or you are 
not fit, and then it is best that you go to the wall at 
once." Such is the stern admonition which is 
addressed to every young man or woman wishing to 
force their way into the professional world, and the 
demands made upon them are increasing daily. It is 
useless for the schools to attempt to curtail their 
curriculum so long as the State continues to screw 
its standard to an ever higher and less attainable 
pitch. All professions are overcrowded, and the State 
can afford to be particular. Those who do pass their 
tests have the chance of a brilhant career before 
them ; those who fail, mentally or physically, have 
proved their inabihty to fill any important post, 
and the State is glad that it has weeded them out. 
The same apphes to business and trade. The 
successful business man in Germany is the man who 
works imremittingly from eight o'clock in the morning 
till seven o'clock at night, who takes one holiday a 
year, and bears the strain without mental or physical 
injury. Those who cannot stand the hours nor the 
constant tax upon mind and body, who need hohdays 
and sport as a relaxation, are simply " hustled " out of 
the competition. There is no room anywhere for the 
weakling — only the fittest can survive. Hence, what- 
ever branch the schoolboy chooses, his hfe is bound to 
be a hard one, and it is not to be wondered at that 



EDUCATION 235 

he looks older than his years. From six to eighteen 
his time is spent in steady work with short hohdays — 
ten weeks in the year is the average amount. In all 
probabihty he makes his debut into the educational 
world through the Kindergarten — a merciful German 
institution which prepares the child's mind for the 
coming strain ; he then passes on into the Elementary 
School, where he remains until his tenth year. It is 
then time for him to choose the direction in which 
his studies are to tend. If he is going in for a pro- 
fessional career he is sent to the ordinary Gjnimasium, 
where he receives a thorough classic education on the 
old system ; if he is going in for a commercial or 
technical career he passes into the Eealgymnasium, 
where the greater stress is laid upon practical science, 
modern languages, and mathematics. There he 
remains until he is eighteen. By that time, following 
the normal course, he has reached the first class, 
but even if he has only reached the second he is con- 
sidered as having reached a sufficiently high standard 
to be excused one year of his service in the army. 
Should he, for some reason or another, have been edu- 
cated at a private school, he will have to pass the 
Einjahrige Examination — a test requiring the same 
amount of knowledge as a boy in the second class 
must possess. The Einjahrige Examination — or, in 
the usual routine, the second class standard — is the 
lowest with which an educated German can start life. 
It is by no means a low standard, as the many coach- 
ing schools testify, and the problem how it is to be 
reached is the one which the parents of not over 
intelhgent boys have to face and solve. The private 
teachers and schools exist in order to help them. 



236 MY GERMAN YEAR 

The elementary schools and the Gymnasium are all 
State or town institutions, which can be attended by 
every one who can afford the necessary sixty marks 
a year ; and, in spite of the mixed society in which his 
son must mingle, the average German father prefers 
to send him there rather than to a private school. 
A father residing, we will say, in Karlsruhe, would no 
more think of sending his son to a boarding school in 
another town than he would think of sending him to a 
reformatory. The boy stays at home and attends the 
Town Gymnasium, or, if his home should happen 
to be in the country, he is sent to some professor's 
family in the nearest town. Boarding-schools for 
boys have, in fact, hke the other private schools, a 
certain stigma attached to them. They exist for those 
who are either too deKcate, too stupid, or too unman- 
ageable and untrustworthy to be brought up to the 
critical Einjahrige standard by any other means. In 
the Gjminasium the boy already enjoys a certain intel- 
lectual freedom. If he is treated as a machine, he is 
at least treated as a reasonable machine, which will 
work because it knows that the work is essential to 
its existence in after Ufe. He is not watched over 
or guided. He must work — ^how he works is his own 
affair. This requires of him a certain strength of 
character and a considerable amount of brains. 
Should he lack both he is weeded out and sent to a 
private school, where he receives " individual care 
and attention." Hence a boy who enters Hfe with a 
private school education behind him is already 
labelled as mentally or physically or morally unfit. 

Continuing with the average German's educa- 
tional career, he passes from the Gymnasium into 



EDUCATION 237 

the army, and that year with the troops is his 
salvation, the great antidote for the errors of his 
previous upbringing. But for that he would be- 
come an energiless, unhealthy victim of over- work, 
physically, and consequently mentally, unfit for the 
strenuous battle before him. For that year his 
brain rests, his body is trained and steeled, and he 
re-enters the lists as a powerful, fully developed man. 
If he has chosen a professional career he then passes 
into the university, which requires of him the first- 
class Gymnasium standard, but once he has passed 
her portals she takes no further notice of him. He 
can study or *' bummel " just as he pleases. He is 
then more than ever a voluntary worker, working 
for his own advancement and benefit, and it is 
unnecessary, therefore, to force or control him. 
Except for the examination at the end of his career 
the German student is under no sort of surveillance, 
and the lectures are only there to lend him an 
indirect and additional assistance. To all practical 
purposes he must study by himself, and his whole 
previous education has prepared him for the task. 
The foundations, whatever they cost, are at least 
firm and secure. He can continue to build on alone. 
A girVs education — and here the superiority to 
the English system as regards results is the most 
marked — is carried on on almost the same Hues as 
the boy's, with the difierence that private schools 
enjoy a degree more favour. Many parents object 
to the inevitable undesirable elements which find 
their way into the town schools, and prefer to send 
their daughters either to the boarding or private 
day schools. The former does not abound in the 



238 MY GERMAN YEAR 

same numbers or the same dimensions as in England. 
In Karlsruhe there is a " model "" boarding-school 
under the direction of the Dowager Grand-Duchess 
— a fine building allowing for about sixty pupils, 
and fitted up with every imaginable convenience. 
In many ways it is equal to anything I have seen 
in England — especially where the domestic and 
feminine side of the education is concerned. Each 
class, for instance, has its own sitting-room — charm- 
ing little boudoirs, kept in the most immaculate 
order, and characterised by many dainty individual 
touches. The cubicles, with their hot and cold 
water wash-hand-stands, the luxurious bathrooms, 
the broad airy passages and classrooms, the general 
air of freshness and cleanKness, changed all my 
previously conceived theories as regards German 
boarding-schools, and even the EngHsh people who 
went with me on my tour of inspection were com- 
pelled to admiration. Yet it was an essentially 
German school, as we were quickly reminded, a few 
Backfische in the school uniform, with fresh cheeks 
and tightly braided hair, who greeted us on the 
staircase with a profound curtsey, being enough 
to bring us back to the reahty. Also the longer 
school hours, the fewer holidays, the general in- 
difference to sport, the moderate fees, were markedly 
German features. No doubt here the educational 
years pass happily enough, with less of the usual 
strain and stress, but such a school and such an 
education is the exception rather than the rule. 
Although the fees are so low — £70 a year is, I beheve, 
the charge made for German pupils — they are still 
a large consideration for German parents. They 



EDUCATION 239 

argue that an equally thorough and perhaps broader 
education can be obtained at the town school for 60 
marks a year, and that it is, moreover, a mistake to 
send children away from home in the most im- 
pressionable years of their life. As a rule they 
send their daughters into what is called the Hohere 
Tochter Schule, an equivalent for our High School, 
and there she can remain to the end of her education. 
Those who wish to study later at a university enter 
the Madchen Gymnasium, which is conducted on 
exactly the same lines as the boys' Gymnasium. 
Up to the present, Karlsruhe is one of the few towns 
that have a separate institution for girls. In Mann- 
heim, for instance, the girls attend the same Gym- 
nasium as the boys, and the experiment of mixed 
classes has proved successful, both sexes being 
stimulated to do their utmost. This Gymnasium 
education is unrivalled. Compare a German girl 
who has been through the course with an Enghsh 
schoolgirl of the same age, and one is struck not 
only by the variety of the former's knowledge but 
by its definiteness, its thoroughness. She has not 
merely " heard of things," which is about all the 
Enghsh girls can say when questioned. She knows, 
and knows intelhgently, not by any means as a 
parrot who has been drilled with a few sentences. 
No doubt she has worked twice as hard as her English 
cousin, as the school hours show. The ordinary 
schoolgirl in Germany works from eight o'clock to 
one o'clock, with fifteen minutes' break, and again 
in the afternoon from three to five. Besides that 
she has her extra lessons, practising, and a heavy 
load of home work. It is not at all unusual for 



240 MY GERMAN YEAR 

quite young girls to work late into the evening, and 
even into the night, and the sallow faces and short- 
sighted eyes which so often strike one in this country 
can often be traced back to over-work and lack of 
exercise. On the whole, one is surprised that there 
are not more cases of mental and physical break- 
down, and my observations have led me to conclude 
that the German girl is at any rate physically far 
more capable of persistent labour than an Enghsh 
girl. I do not believe that the latter could stand 
the strain which the former bears with comparatively 
little efiort. The short sight and pale faces are 
inevitable, but they are by no means universal, and 
it is very rare — far rarer than among the boys — 
that a girl sustains serious or incurable injury from 
her school time. She seems made of iron, without 
nerves, without the need for relaxation or rest. 
She can go on and on and still retain a very remark- 
able mental agility and elasticity. As I write the 
picture of two typical schoolgirls whom I met on 
a recent visit rises before my mind's eye. The one 
attends a Gymnasium for boys and girls, the other 
the town school, and their work hours, for our ideas, 
are preposterous. Yet a livelier, brighter, more 
intelligent couple I have rarely had the pleasure of 
encountering. They seemed absolutely irrepressible 
and remarkably healthy. What was more, their 
work had no terrors for them ; one heard no lamen- 
tations that the hoKdays were at an end. The 
Gymnastian even took the opportunity to learn all 
the Enghsh she could, filhng up her spare moments 
with an Enghsh grammar, and experimenting on 
me with the result of her researches. The other 



EDUCATION 241 

could already talk English fluently and with very 
little accent, besides French, Italian, and Greek, 
and seemed to have a wide and definite knowledge 
on subjects which, for an Enghsh girl of the same 
age, would have been closed books. It was indeed 
difficult to beheve that they were only fourteen and 
fifteen respectively, their ideas, their attitude to- 
wards life and towards their work was precocious, 
but not unpleasantly so. Somehow or other they 
had retained their high spirits ; they could dance 
well, and enjoyed a certain amount of exercise, 
though games played no important part in their 
programme. It was obvious that their work was 
the chief thing, and absorbed the chief part of their 
interests. They did not go to school because they 
had to, because school is a necessary evil attendant 
on youth. Their work was something serious, the 
cultivation of the mind something intensely desirable. 
In all this they were encouraged by their parents, 
who would never have been satisfied with a pohte 
" pohsh." They also took work seriously, and 
should their children desire to continue their studies 
or develop a particular talent they would gladly 
open the road for them. Thus the one girl will 
probably devote herself to music, as her elder sister 
has devoted herself to art, and, as her sister, 
when the time comes she will study away from 
home. In the meantime she continues her ordinary 
education with energy, and seems to find a decided 
satisfaction in the effort. 

This attitude towards their studies provides the 
explanation — or a part explanation — for the German 
girFs educational superiority. She learns willingly, with 
M 



242 MY GERMAN YEAR 

an avidity which cannot be exhausted. The proof of 
this is to be found in the voluntary continuation 
of her work after her schooldays are over. The 
numberless lectures which are held in Karlsruhe 
during the year are crowded by women and young 
girls who have just left school ; the Kranzchen, of 
which I have already spoken, where they meet 
together either to read or speak some foreign tongue, 
are all organised out of the need to go on with, or at 
any rate keep up, what they have learnt, and this 
need continues right through their life. At a time 
when the English woman will laughingly tell you, 
" Oh, I have forgotten all that — my schooldays are 
so far behind me,"" the German woman will be able 
to display a mind kept bright with patient, steadfast, 
intellectual burnishing. I do not wish to put the 
case in a more brilliant light than the truth admits. 
I know some very dull and stupid German women, 
and some whose knowledge consists of a few showy 
foreign sentences ; what I wish to convey is, that 
taking an averagely inteUigent type from both 
races, the German woman has the broader intellectual 
outlook and the firmer intellectual basis. No doubt 
she pays for it. However full of interest her school- 
days may have been, they cannot have been the 
happy, cloudless, irresponsible days which the 
Enghsh woman can look back upon in after-Hfe, and 
she has, Hke her brother, the faihngs which a home 
upbringing entails — not, however, to the same 
extent as an Enghsh girl has under the same cir- 
cumstances. It is one of the faults of the German 
schools that they make no endeavour to build up 
character, and make no pretence of doing so. They 



EDUCATION 243 

occupy themselves solely with the brains, and not 
at all with the whole individuality, of those entrusted 
to them, and consequently their influence is entirely 
negative. A German boy or girl takes after his 
home, not after his school. Fortunately the German 
home-Hfe is such as to ward off the chief failings 
which an Enghsh home upbringing usually entails. 
Enghsh parents, perhaps accustomed to leaving the 
disagreeable severities to others, err on the side of 
weakness, and when from one cause or another their 
children are brought up entirely at home, the result 
is very often pampered weaklings. German parents, 
on the other hand, with the whole responsibihty of 
their children's characters upon their shoulders, 
maintain a certain Spartan rigour and severity which 
atones for the lack of public school disciphne, and 
the hardening, strengthening influence of pubUc 
school hf e. The system is not without its advantages. 
The German claims, not without justification, that 
his home is not so quickly or easily broken up, that 
his children, living constantly at home in their most 
sensitive years, remain his children to the end of 
their lives. In England, he says, a girl is sent away 
from home and passes into another sphere of in- 
fluence. When she comes back she cannot find her 
place in the old world, and either the family has to 
yield to her new views or there are all too frequent 
dissensions. 

" You teach your children to be independent 
of you, and then afterwards want to tie them down 
to your way of Hving," a German once said to me. 
" What can you expect but trouble ? " 

The German boy and girl remain closely united 



244 MY GERMAN YEAR 

to the family until their tastes and opinions are 
formed on the family lines, and the advantage to 
the family unity in after-life is obvious. 

On the whole the German method of education 
springs from the needs of the German character and 
mind, and its errors, therefore, are not so disastrous 
as they would be in other countries, and its virtues 
are undoubtedly more successful. It would be as 
great an absurdity to transplant German education 
on to EngHsh soil as it would be to transplant Enghsh 
ideas on to German. The EngHsh constitution 
would break down under the strain, and the EngHsh 
character would revolt against the inflexibiHty of 
the system, but, as the Germans have learnt from us, 
so it is surely possible for us to learn from them. 
The saying that the battle of Waterloo was won on 
the playing-fields of Eton has become dangerous ; 
it may have been true of Waterloo — it will not be 
true of the future battles of the world. In the future 
more will be required of the soldier than mere 
physical prowess, daring, and courage ; he will have 
to be mentally trained to master the most difiicult 
problems of modern warfare, and if the German wins 
it will be because he has combined physical culture 
with a strenuous devotion to his mental advance- 
ment. He is physically and mentally prepared. And 
if the strain which he puts upon himself and the 
standard which he has set crushes many out of the 
race, it has this advantage, that only those win who 
are really worthy of their success. 

The high store which is set upon education seems 
to penetrate down to the lowest classes in Germany. 
There are, of course, the free Volkschule — board 



EDUCATION 245 

schools — and supplementary schools for those who 
wish to study after their compulsory school time is 
over, but these features are common to most civiKsed 
countries. The point that is pecuHar in Germany 
is not the provision for the education of the masses, 
but the eagerness with which the provision is seized 
upon. I mentioned in my last chapter that a 
Society was giving a Bach concert for the benefit 
of the working man — that is to say, the working man 
had to pay 20 pf . for his reserved seat, whilst we, the 
ordinary folk, had to pay 50 pf . and take our chance. 
When I first heard of the idea I was not a little 
sceptical. I was told that the concert was arranged 
by a kind of workman's debating club, which usually 
occupied itself with all the questions of interest in 
art, politics, and social economy, under the guidance 
of various professors. I asked what class of work- 
man was most represented. We were at the time 
walking in the Krieg Strasse, at six o'clock in the 
evening, when the factories outside the town dis- 
charge their workers, who stream through the west- 
end to their east-end homes. As a rule I avoid 
that time of the day. The crowd is quiet enough, 
but it is undoubtedly a crowd, and the results of 
the day's toil are very obvious. My friend indicated 
a group that was trudging toward us, dirty, weary, 
and dilapidated. 

" Those are the sort of people you will see on 
Sunday evening," she said. My doubts thereupon 
increased, for the grimy, rough-looking folk did not 
at all strike me in the Hght of possible Bach admirers. 
I have myself only just reached the stage — after much 
education — when I can say with truth that I enjoy 



246 MY GERMAN YEAR 

listening to fugues and cantatas, and it seemed almost 
insulting to be told that these factory workers knew 
more about such things than I did. On Sunday, 
when I took my place at the back of the church, I felt 
inchned to say, " I told you so ! Where are the 
factory workers now ? '' The reserved places were 
filled with a neatly dressed, freshly washed audience, 
evidently belonging to the small tradesmen class. 
To tell the truth, there was not a perceptible differ- 
ence between them and the usual Sunday morning 
congregation, except that they did not cough so 
much. 

" These are the factory people in their best," I 
was told, and indeed such proved to be the case, for 
out of the one thousand two hundred present, nine 
hundred were ordinary day labourers engaged either 
in the factories or on the railway. 

The concert, with a preceding lecture on Bach's 
life and work, lasted over two hours, but there was not 
a sign of weariness or boredom. A better behaved 
audience could not have been wished, and I have no 
doubt lecturer and performers would be proud if they 
received the same courteous attention and interest 
from their usual more fashionable hearers. Now, as 
I know from experience, a lecture on Bach's music, 
with a following hour of the music itself, requires a 
certain mental ripeness, a certain amount of trained 
intelHgence, to be appreciated, and I have since asked 
myself — or rather others — whether it is the training 
or the intelhgence which has brought the German 
workman to such a high standard. As regards the 
training, I have already mentioned the ordinary 
Volkschule, which must be attended up to the four- 



EDUCATION 247 

teenth year. The education provided is no doubt the 
usual State education, but the great virtue of the 
German system is its continuation. And the continua- 
tion is owed to the people themselves. It is the 
people who make use of the supplementary schools, of 
the instruction offered them during their two years 
with the colours. It is the people who form debating 
societies, who seek by every means in their power to 
continue with the foundations set up by the com- 
pulsory education of the State. The hunger after 
learning is felt everywhere and shows itself every- 
where, and it must be said to the credit of those in 
power that everything is done to satisfy the demand. 
In this respect South Germany is the advance guard, 
with Httle Baden as its guide and example As I have 
mentioned before, the South German of every class 
is quicker and more intelHgent than his Northern 
brother, and consequently, the need being there, far 
more is done for him. And certainly in no other 
State is so much done for the mental improvement 
of the lower classes as in Baden. 

'' If only we had such interesting lectures and 
concerts offered us ! ^Ms the whimsical complaint of 
the middle classes; but, as a matter of fact, the people 
are not spoilt, they are not the pampered children of 
a crazy philanthropy, which produces nothing but 
weaklings and beggars. As in other matters, so in his 
education, the German workman is self-supporting. 
However Httle he pays, he at least pays something 
towards his mental improvement. It is only a 
question of a few pfennige, which no doubt charity 
would be quite willing to pay for him,but wisdom has 
ordered," Let him pay it himself ! '" And that he does 



248 MY GERMAN YEAR 

pay, and pays willingly, is proof that he is worthy of 
the efiorts made on his behalf, and lifts the man 
higher in his own seK-respect and in the esteem of 
the world. 

A Httle while ago I asked, Why do foreigners still 
persist in settling in this expensive country ? and I 
have now another and more definitive answer. They 
come for the education. Everything which has to do 
with education is to be had for a comparative trifle. 

" Food, clothing, and lodging are preposterous,'" 
a PoHsh student once said to me ; " but you can get 
the finest education in the world in any branch you 
like for next to nothing."' 

He was right; and since the average German 
cares very little about elegance and fine Hving, he 
takes what is offered him and is satisfied. The 
Conservatoriums, Art Schools, and Universities are 
crowded with people who look as though they could 
not afford the bare necessities of Hfe, and probably 
such is really the case. Probably they cannot afford 
nourishing food or sufficient clothes, but they can 
afford education. Education is, in fact, the one thing 
which every German must have and every German 
can afford. 

" If we were all soul and mind, what a lovely cheap 
place Germany would be!"' as my English friend once 
pathetically observed. 



CHAPTER XVII 

THE POOR IN TOWN AND COUNTRY 

MY English friend, who has settled in Germany 
for economy's sake, is very often puzzled by 
profound problems. 

" How do the poor people manage to exist ? " 
she demanded one day. " For instance, I cannot 
buy a good piece of meat under 1 mark 50 pf. the 
pound. How do they manage ? Do they get 
double wages or what ? '* 

" They certainly don't get double wages." 

" Don't they eat meat, then ? '' 

" They eat sausage." 

" Not proper meat ? " 

" Sometimes — sometimes horse-flesh." 

She looked at me with an expression on her face 
which said plainly — "Then the awful thing is really 
true ! " and then asked — 

" Where — where do they buy it ? " 

" At the shop. There are four horse-meat shops 
in Karlsruhe. Would you like me to buy you 
some ? " 

She repressed a shudder, and then, curiosity 
getting the better of disgust, she admitted that she 
would just like to see a piece. I thereupon plunged 
into the so-called slums and procured a pound of 



250 MY GERMAN YEAR 

the best horse-flesh for the sum of 15 pf . The shop 
was crowded with purchasers, and by no means of 
the poorest class, and everything was as clean and 
appetising as in any ordinary butcher^s. I returned 
home with my purchase and displayed it in triumph. 
My EngHsh friend considered it at first with strong 
prejudice, and afterwards with a tendency to relent. 

" It doesn't look so bad. Do they really like 
it?" 

I told her that I believed so, that in fact it was 
in many cases far better meat than that which our 
own people eat, and suggested that she should try 
a piece. Her curiosity, however, had its limits, 
but it was evident that the horse-flesh bogey had 
lost something of its blood-curdUng effectiveness 
as far as she was concerned. I had not exaggerated 
in saying that a piece of young horse-flesh is equal 
to the stuff sold to our poor as beef, and there is no 
secrecy made about its sale. The shops at which 
it can be procured describe themselves faithfully as 
" Pferdefleisch Handler, "" and the people who buy 
know perfectly well what they are doing. In 
PoHzei Deutchland it would be impossible for a 
butcher to cheat his customers, and the talk about 
horse-meat sausages, etc., is pure nonsense. No 
doubt there are horse-meat sausages, but the people 
who buy them have no illusions on the matter. As 
a rule, however, the cheap sausage eaten by the 
people is composed of the waste pieces of veal, 
mutton, and beef of which the butcher can make no 
other use. All the slaughter-houses are under the 
strictest control, and the punishment for fraud in 
this respect is so heavy that it is worth nobody's 



POOR IN TOWN AND COUNTRY 251 

while to run the risk of passing bad or inferior meat 
on to the public under a false designation. On the 
whole the German — especially the South German — 
is not a very great meat eater. Even if he could 
afford to buy the best, I doubt if he would forsake 
his usual menu, which consists for the most part of 
potatoes, fish, sausage, and bread — not the so-called 
'' black bread " of which we have heard so much. 
The South German, it must be observed, is better 
off and more luxurious than the North German. 
Consequently his food is more deHcate, and the black 
bread of North Germany is not eaten in these parts. 
The ordinary workman eats either white bread or 
a mixture of rye and wheat, which makes not the 
slightest pretensions to being black. It is a Hght 
brown colour, nourishing, cheap, somewhat in- 
digestible, but for a sturdy constitution quite 
enjoyable. The richest people have it on their 
tables, and it forms an excellent change when one 
is weary of the more deHcate Brotchens. In North 
Germany " black bread " is eaten, but the British 
workman need waste no sympathy on his ill-used 
German cousin on that account. The German 
cousin is perfectly satisfied with his black bread, 
and would no doubt find wheat bread both flat and 
uninteresting. In fact the German, whether from 
north or south, is not very particular about his food. 
He eats because he is hungry, and as long as what 
he eats sustains and nourishes him, he does not care 
what the quality is. Nothing, for instance, could 
be more simple than the fare with which an ordinary 
German servant is satisfied. For breakfast a cup 
of coffee, a piece of bread without butter ; for 



252 MY GERMAN YEAR 

dinner, soup, meat, and potatoes ; for tea, again 
plain bread ; for supper, a piece of sausage, a glass 
of beer, and more bread. Such is the daily menu. 
If they are given puddings, it is regarded as a luxury 
which they neither expect nor particularly ap- 
preciate. On this food they perform about double 
the work which an English domestic accomplishes, 
receive lower wages, and are cheerful and contented. 
A German servant is really a treasure, and that she 
is very diiSicult to transplant is a fact which English 
people who have experienced her honesty, industry, 
and modesty regret bitterly. Since in my " German 
Year "" I wish to describe, as much as possible, only 
what I have actually seen, I cannot do better than 
take our own servants and their families as typical 
types of the lower classes. Their method of living, 
their wages, and their condition form a safe average 
from which one can judge the whole German people. 
Some are better off, some poorer, but the great mass 
follow the middle path, which I shall attempt to 
describe. 

For something hke ten years our servants have 
all been recruited from the same family. We 
started with the two eldest sisters, who, of course, 
got married, and we have at present the younger 
members, who, of course, are going to get married 
as soon as the necessary dot is there. The husbands 
of the elder sisters are workmen on the railway here, 
so that we have every opportunity to study their 
ways and means. I will, however, begin at the 
beginning, and finish up, as in the novels, with the 
married state. Our young cook, then, is what we 
in England would call a good plain cook. She 



POOR IN TOWN AND COUNTRY 253 

cannot perform any great culinary feats, but she is 
to be relied upon with all ordinary matters ; and if 
ever there should happen to be a pinch too much or 
a pinch too httle salt in the soup, she is so conscience- 
stricken and wretched that we hide the disaster from 
her by every means in our power. For her labours 
on our behalf she receives £18 a year. A first-class 
cook gets from £20 to £23, but our Freda makes no 
pretentions to being anything else but plain. Her 
sister, as housemaid, receives £15, and is the most 
hard-working person I have ever met. She keeps 
our ten rooms in perfect order, and no matter how 
many guests we may have she rises to the occasion 
with a cheery good-will which is quite refreshing. 
At such times, as an ease to our conscience, we 
insist on having a small boy to do the heavier 
work, but she looks upon him with unconcealed 
contempt, and on his assistance as a veiled insult. 
Their food I have already described. Their dress 
is simphcity itself. Both object strongly to black 
dresses and cap and apron, and will only assume these 
articles of elegance on great occasions. On Sundays 
both appear very neatly and quietly attired, and 
with the addition of the hat, which in everyday 
hfe is discarded. A German servant, no matter 
how superior, would not think of going to market with 
anything but a shawl over her head, and, as a rule, 
not even a shawl is used. Both girls are intelhgent, 
with an average share of common-sense or " Mutter- 
witz," as they would call it, but neither have mani- 
fested any desire to play the piano, ride our bicycles, 
or read our latest novels. Their pleasures consist 
of a Sunday afternoon visit to their married relations, 



254 MY GERMAN YEAR 

a walk in the Stadtgarten with their friends, and 
a glass of beer whilst they hsten to the band — this, 
however, as a luxury. Once a year we send them 
to the theatre, and once a year their Schatz takes 
them to the Kaiser Ball, and these are the red-letter 
events. It is Uttle enough, and yet they are the 
cheeriest couple in the world, and in spite of their 
low wages they have saved quite a nice little sum — 
nearly the required £50. At Christmas, it is true, 
we give them money as presents, and this adds con- 
siderably to the nest-egg. Besides their wages, 
we also pay their share to the compulsory accident, 
illness, and old-age insurance. We are not obliged 
to do so, but if we did not it would simply mean 
that they would require more wages, so that it comes 
to the same in the end. Every working man and 
woman in Germany must be in these three insurances, 
and the payments are arranged in classes according to 
the wages received. Thus,whatever happens to our two 
girls, they are provided for. In the case of illness or 
accident they can claim the attendance of any doctor 
they choose, hospital nursing, and all the medicines 
ordered for them, free of charge. Should they be 
disabled for hfe, they receive a pension which is in 
any case granted them from their seventh year. 
Half of the payments to these insurances must be 
paid by the employer, the other half by the employee, 
but very often, like ourselves, the employer prefers 
to take the whole burden upon his shoulders. For 
our two servants we pay about 60 marks a year, 
which, if an additional tax, is more than balanced 
by the low wages and also by the satisfaction of 
knowing that we are free from all responsbiUty. 



POOR IN TOWN AND COUNTRY 255 

Should they marry and become independent, they 
can, if they wish, cease to belong to the insurances, 
and receive then the half of that which they have 
already paid in. The wise ones, however, prefer to 
continue the payments, and thus guarantee for them- 
selves a certain security in all misfortune. 

As to the way the poorer classes Hve, I cannot 
do better than describe the homes of our two old 
servants. Bien entendu, they are respectable, hard- 
working people of a certain position — that is to say, 
they count themselves something better than the day 
labourer or factory hand. The husband of the one 
is a shunter on the railway, and therefore, if you 
argue it out on German lines, a State official, and 
therefore a very superior person. His hours vary : 
every third night he is on duty from nine o'clock till 
six o'clock in the morning ; on other days, from six in 
the morning till one o'clock ; and for this he receives 
4*50 per diem. As there are no children, the wife 
also goes out as a " help " — ^not a charwoman — for 
which she is paid 2*50, though she could, if she chose, 
get more at a large laundry. Laundry work, however, 
infers a step down in the social scale, and of course, 
like everybody else in Germany, she has too much 
" Standes Ehre " to lower herself for an extra 50 pf. 
Their joint income, therefore, is about 2660 marks, 
or £133, but of this only the husband's share — £82- — 
is certain. For their bedroom, living-room, and 
kitchen they pay £16 a year, and added to this is 
their income tax of about £2, and a small sum for their 
insurances. They Hve comfortably, but, for EngHsh 
ideas, frugally. There is no extravagance or 
luxury in their life. Their little rooms on the third 



256 MY GERMAN YEAR 

floor in a decent part of the town, though kept in 
scrupulous cleanHness and order, and brightened 
with a few plants on the window-sill, contain nothing 
but the respectable necessities. In all this they are 
tpyical German people. Others may be worse or 
better paid, according to their trade and abihties, but 
in thrift, in abstemiousness, in a certain Spartan 
indifference to all forms of luxury and self-indulgence, 
they represent the great bulk of the lower classes. 
In their sphere of hfe, as everywhere, money is after 
all a small matter compared to the use made of it. 
Were the English workman twice as well paid as the 
German, it is doubtful if we would be as well off or so 
well provided for. He has learnt — or been taught — 
to depend on charity, and to expect more than his 
position in the social system warrants, and the 
consequence is a dislike for work, discontent, thrift- 
lessnesSjOr at any rate a financial state which provides 
nothing for a rainy to-morrow. The German is still, 
and for the benefit of his country it is to be hoped he 
will remain, a hard worker, who asks less than life 
offers him. The consequence is as inevitable. When 
the rainy day comes, when work fails, as it does often 
enough, there is always something to fall back upon. 
In Germany the misery which we have grown to regard 
as a necessary evil is remarkable for its absence. 
During last winter there were five hundred workmen 
out of employment in Karlsruhe — an unusually large 
number, I was told — but I did not in all my wander- 
ings discover one case of absolute destitution. The 
unemployed were all men, neatly di-essed, well fed 
and respectable-looking. I used to watch them 
standing about the Arbeitsbureau waiting for the 



POOR IN TOWN AND COUNTRY 257 

doors to open and their appearance seemed to 
indicate a calm patience in the face of a temporary 
" bad time/^ Certainly none of them looked starved, 
and certainly none of them had spent the night out of 
doors. It was noteworthy that not a single woman 
presented herself as being unable to obtain work. It 
maybe said with justice that a Residenz like Karlsruhe 
is not a fair example, but in other towns I have made 
the same observations. Unemployed exist every- 
where, but nowhere have I witnessed cases of real 
distress. The feature that must strike the foreigner 
when he wanders through the streets of a German 
city is that there are no loafers, no ragged children, 
no beggars. The slouching, hands-in-pocket, miser- 
able objects which infest our towns, trying to pick 
up a Uvehhood with stray jobs, are rarities such as I 
have not met anywhere in this country. No doubt 
the State does a great deal for the people, but, be it said 
to their credit, they owe their comparative welfare 
chiefly to themselves. It is unusual for a workman 
to drink away his wages, still more unusual for the 
woman to do so, and the whole tendency is to save, 
to force the way upwards so that the children shall 
start life a step higher than the parents. As to 
the children, Karlsruhe at least seems to swarm with 
them, and I am not surprised to hear that Germany's 
population is increasing at the rate of a milHon a year. 
On the whole, they are an orderly crowd, clean and 
neatly dressed, with nothing of the ragamufi&n about 
them either in appearance or manners. They do not, 
however, strike me as being particularly healthy. 
Whether it is the dry climate, or the work, or the food, 
I do not know, but a pair of rosy cheeks is the excep- 
17 



258 MY GERMAN YEAR 

tion rather than the rule. I fancy the parents are 
chiefly to blame both for the pale faces and the bow 
legs which attract the strangers' notice. For German 
parents belonging to the lower classes, if very devoted, 
have decidedly old-fashioned and primitive ideas as 
regards the rearing of children, and are not easy to 
convert to modern ways. Fortunately, the results of 
their experiments seem to pass ofi later on in Hf e, since 
the grown-up population presents, on the whole, a 
sturdy, healthy, and even handsome appearance. 
In remote parts of the country, as in the Black Forest, 
the case is more serious. The Black Forest peasant 
is more than old-fashioned — in his ideas on health 
and hygiene he dates back a couple of hundred years, 
and, conservative as he is, he refuses to be hurried 
on with the times. He shuts himself up in his 
picturesque house, closes the tiny windows, and 
whilst the thick snow builds itself round him, he lives 
in an atmosphere which would ruin all normal 
constitutions. I once made an observation on the 
closed windows to a friend, and her significant 
retort was that perhaps it was just as well for the 
Black Forest. Certainly, charming though they are, 
perched up in their loneUness on the mountain-side, 
these forest homes leave much to be desired as regards 
hygiene, and not even the magnificent pine air can 
counterbalance the effects of the peasant's mode of 
life. Naturally the children suffer the most. They 
are badly fed, not because their parents are poor, but 
because the children are expected to grow up without 
any particular care being taken of them. The 
Black Forester is even reproached with giving more 
attention to his pigs than to his offspring, and I have 



POOR IN TOWN AND COUNTRY 259 

not the least doubt that of the two the pigs get the 
best food. Thanks to this and other causes, there is 
a certain amount of Cretinism in the more secluded 
villages, and young populace impress me as either 
unhealthy or dull and stupid. There are exceptions, 
of course, and among the grown-up members one 
sometimes finds charming girls' faces and men whose 
bold, finely cut features might belong to aristocrats 
of the purest blood. In their way many of them are 
aristocrats and often very rich into the bargain. 
Their Hof or farm may have been in the family for 
generations, and since they never allow their children 
to marry into a poorer or lower class, their wealth and 
position increase steadily. They are intensely proud, 
reserved, gloomy, and tenacious, these Black Forest 
folk, but their obstinacy is mingled with a decided 
business abihty, and the man who beats them in a 
bargain has good reason to flatter himself. On 
the other hand they are strictly honest, and behind 
their slowness and reserve kindly and hospitable. 
Their geographical position added to their natural 
exclusiveness has made them a race apart — altogether 
different in character and ideas to the people who 
inhabit the lowland villages, the most fascinating, 
picturesque villages in the world. This spring 
a few friends and I paid a visit to Berghausen, 
a little country " Nest " only a few miles from Karls- 
ruhe, and spent the day there wandering about the 
streets, making sketches, taking photographs, talking 
to the people, and, generally speaking, causing a mild 
sensation among the simple folk, who inquired pohtely 
if they might have a photo, or at any rate a look into 
the sketch-books, whereupon, the latter boon being 



260 MY GERMAN YEAR 

granted, they expressed the profoundest admiration 
in true German fashion. That they usually held the 
picture upside down made not the slightest difference 
to them, though it successfully damped the artist's 
gratification. These people and their home have for 
me an inexhaustible attraction — in spite of the some- 
times very noticeable countrified atmosphere. There 
are Httle by-streets and quaint corners in this old 
Berghausen, whose charm never diminishes. The 
world seems to have passed them by forgotten ; 
the dust of ages lies on the old ricketty staircases ; 
worm-eaten doors hang on their rusty hinges as 
though they had been thrown open by some 
inhabitant who had never returned ; a sunny peace 
rests on the disorderly courtyard, where a cat basks 
on a bed of straw amidst a contented family of 
geese ; overhead on the thatched roof I can see a 
stork's nest, and Frau Storch herself, just arrived 
from Egypt and very proud of the accommodation 
which the villagers — ^who love her — have prepared 
for her return. Suddenly the drowsy silence is 
broken by the sound of shufiiing footsteps ; a 
woman comes out on to the narrow stairway and 
nods and smiles at us. 

" Tag ! Ah, you have come to paint ? Ja, Ja, 
das ist schon ! " 

Encouraged by her kindly face and manner, I 
ask her to show us over her home, and she takes us 
through the minute kitchen into the sitting-room, 
and thence into the bedroom — the two rooms which 
compose her home. Everything is spotlessly clean 
and neat. A motto — no German home is complete 
\^ without a motto — hangs over the wooden bedsteads ; 



>e o ► o •",-.' » ' ■> \» 




A CORNER IN BERGHAUSEN, 



POOR IN TOWN AND COUNTRY 261 

a few flower-pots stand on the tiny window-sill ; im- 
maculate white curtains frame the absurd little 
windows, which are thrown wide open to admit the 
fresh spring air. Our hostess is very proud of all 
she has to show us, and only regrets that her neigh- 
bours are not at home. 

" Their rooms are much, much more beautiful," 
she says, with sincere, unenvying admiration. She 
then produces her three small children, who had been 
playing about in the street outside. There was a 
fourth, she told us, but he was at school. 

" I am happier when he is at home," she said, 
" for then he looks after his Httle sisters." 

That, indeed, seems the natural duty of all the 
boys, however young they may be. At every corner 
one sees a mite of seven or eight years old in charge 
of a small army of babies, over whom he watches 
with paternal sohcitude. He and the babies form 
an altogether charming picture. They are just 
dirty enough to be amusingly human, and just clean 
enough to reveal the fact that they are washed every 
night and carefully looked after. Some of the 
small faces are strikingly pretty, with rosy com- 
plexions, flaxen hair arranged in ridiculous Httle 
plaits, and, Hke most of their race, fine, expressive 
eyes. Some of them are barefooted and otherwise 
scantily clad, but that is merely their summer attire, 
which they assume because it is an agreeable fashion, 
and not in the least because they are poor. The 
round, healthy cheeks and sturdy Hmbs witness to it 
that they are not starved ; and the frankness with 
which our advances are received, the broad smiles 
and quick answers, proved that hitherto the world 



262 MY GERMAN YEAR 

had treated them very kindly. Some of the Httle 
girls display a calculated coquettishness, refuse to be 
photographed, are visibly delighted over our humble 
pleadings, at last yield with queenly condescension, 
and pose for us with a strong eye for effect. 

Having photographed and properly admired our 
hostess' family, we give her our best thanks and go 
back to the principal street. It is not " the thing '" 
to offer a peasant money on such an occasion. She 
would have refused it with scorn, and we should 
certainly have sunk in her estimation. She had 
invited us as friends, and so as friends we part. In 
the street a change has taken place. A Doodlesack 
Spieler (bagpipe player) has taken up his stand 
outside one of the Gasthaiiser, and a httle crowd has 
gathered round him to hsten to his lugubrious 
melodies. The crowd reveals many types. There 
is the peasant himself, just returned from the fields, 
top-booted, roughly dressed, but with a bronzed, 
pleasant face. At his side stands his wife, looking 
considerably older, but cheery and laughing, with her 
arms akimbo, her eyes twinkhng good-naturedly at 
the bevy of urchins who dance about or stand in 
awestruck interest. Others pass on their way 
without condescending to hsten. Women bearing 
heavy faggots on their heads, old women, the grand- 
mothers of the village one would suppose, pass with 
their iron rake over their shoulders, and look neither 
to the right nor to the left. They are all dressed 
ahke, a short, loose-fitting jacket, short blue skirt 
and sabots forming the chief articles of their attire. 
We see some fine faces amongst them in spite of the 
thin colourless hair drawn straight back and pinned 



> J > 
* i y 

5 J 3 




FIELD WORKERS. 





\vome;x field workers. 



POOR IN TOWN AND COUNTRY 263 

in an inartistic but neat coil at the nape of the neck. 
Weather-beaten, toil-worn, and wrinkled though 
they are, there is character in the boldly cut aquiline 
features and piercing grey eyes which smile at you 
from amidst the furrows. That is a point which 
strikes the stranger first — everybody smiles at you, 
everybody nods and wishes you good-day, and if you 
want to know anything they are all eagerness and 
goodwill. We have not been more than a few hours 
in the village before we are the best of friends all 
round. However, tea-time approaches, and we 
betake ourselves to the chief and most famous 
inn of the village — the Gasthaus zum Laub. It is a 
wonderful old place, with a courtyard surrounded by 
quaint oak galleries through whose trelhses flowers 
have been trained to blossom. A tame stork, 
wandering in majestically from the garden, greets us 
with a loud beak-clapping which immediately calls 
forth mine host himseK. Mine host is one of the 
aristocrats ; he can trace his descent straight back 
two hundred years, during which time the inn has 
always been in the possession of his family. He is a 
fine old fellow, with white hair, bright eyes, an eagle 
nose, and manners in which there is a certain 
dignity, a certain consciousness of his position and 
birth. The inn is his pride, his heirloom. He shows 
us the low-built dining-room with the handsome 
carved oak pillars and wainscoting, the pictures 
presented to him by famous artists, and all his 
particular Httle treasures, very much as a grand 
seigneur might show you his chateau. We become 
quite awestruck, and feel as though it would be 
an insult to suggest paying for the meal of excellent 



264 MY GERMAN YEAR 

bread and honey and bad cofiee which he spreads 
before us. He, too, seems to feel the painfulness of 
such a low business transaction, for he disappears 
when the bill is called for, and a servant performs 
the unpleasant task. Certainly we have had our 
money's worth, and one thing I can vouch for — 
namely, that the peasant fare, as set before us by our 
host, is substantial and nourishing. When one has 
devoured a piece of country bread one inch thick and 
five inches by seven, with an enormous piece of 
butter and any quantity of honey, one feels fit to 
face the next week or two without further sustenance. 
Thus strengthened we repair to the small station, 
and presently leave the village regretfully behind us. 
Its great charm is that it is a genuine village, as 
there are hundreds in South Germany ; there are no 
squires or " Manor people '' to fuss over the in- 
habitants, who live their fives in undisturbed peace. 
In North Germany the matter is difierent. There 
the great " Gutsbesitzer "" plays the part of lord, 
and the villagers to all intents and purposes " belong " 
to him, but in this part of the world the great estate 
owners can be counted on one hand. For the most 
part the country is divided into minute pocket- 
handkerchief plots of land, without hedge or fence, 
which is the property of the peasant himself, and 
over which he disposes in complete independence. 
The cultivation of his plot is his great work in life, 
and his whole family assists him, the women taking 
their full share of the burden. For the foreigner it 
is at first a curious and almost painful sight to see 
these women toiling in the fields beneath the blaze of 
the summer sun, their white head-dress drawn over 



POOR IN TOWN AND COUNTRY 265 

their bronzed, furrowed faces, their shoulders 
hunched through the long, continuous stooping. 
It is no wonder that there are so few young women 
to be found in a German village. The charming 
barefooted httle girls who play about in the chief 
street vanish from their fourteenth year. One 
season's toil is enough to rub ofi the first bloom of 
youth, and at twenty they are usually married and 
have children of their own to add to their burden. 
Gaunt, figureless, roughly clad, with sunken eyes 
and sharp features, the colourless hair scraped 
straight back from the deeply lined foreheads, they 
might be anything between thirty and forty years 
of age, and seem to exist solely to labour, without any 
pleasure or recompense save the daily bread. To 
all intents and purposes the woman plays the same 
part as her husband, save that child-bearing is 
added to her other burdens. She works as hard as 
he does, and during the years when her brothers are 
serving, the chief responsibihty rests on her shoulders. 
That she ages before her time is inevitable. A 
German village seems full of old women, but they 
are not really old — they are sometimes quite young, 
but with their youth crushed out of them by the 
stress of their existence. It must not be supposed 
that the man does not take his share, or that the 
women are nothing but beasts of burden. The 
former does not, and cannot, spare himself ; it is not 
his fault that in the hard struggle he has to make 
use of every assistance in his power, and the woman, 
on her side, being a true German, stands by him 
loyally and willingly. There are indeed fine men and 
fine women in these old villages, and their cheery 



266 MY GERMAN YEAR 

endurance, their good-humour, intelligence, and 
courage, is a revelation of the power of the human 
character to rise to the level of the task imposed 
upon it. 

So much for the dark side of the picture. There 
is a bright side — perhaps much brighter than the 
stranger would think after a casual stroll through 
a German village. He must not be misled by the 
tumble-down houses and barefooted children. It 
is very often not poverty but indifference to comfort 
which makes the peasant live as he does. He asks 
very little of life. Enough to eat, a clean room to 
live in, a wife and children, and his ideal existence 
is already attained. As a rule these peasant families 
are very happy and peaceful. The man is a steady 
worker and a good father, the woman his cheery, 
industrious comrade. There is nothing cringeing or 
browbeaten about either of them — rather their 
manner is frank, sincere, not untouched with a 
certain pride, perhaps the pride of honest labour 
honestly accomphshed. Their work is their life, 
and in the peaceful fulfilment of the duty nearest 
to hand they find their reward and their happiness. 
May the jerry-builder of " reform cottages " and all 
social reformers in general leave them their peace ! 

Since I have just dealt with matters rural, it 
would be perhaps fitting to add a few words on 
ordinary country life in Germany, which, as far as 
South Germany is concerned, is a paradox, since 
country Ufe, at any rate in our meaning of the term, 
is non-existent. In North Germany the great land- 
owners live on their estates, and the social intercourse 
between them resembles our own, but here no one 



POOR IN TOWN AND COUNTRY 267 

lives in the country who can possibly afford to live 
elsewhere. Beautiful country houses are practically 
unknown, or only used for short periods in the year 
by the very wealthy ; and anybody wishing to Hve 
out of town would have to reconcile himseK to com- 
plete isolation from his own class. There is no 
hunting ; shooting is the sport of the few ; in a word, 
all the attractions which bring Enghsh house parties 
together, and make country Hfe enjoyable, play no 
part in this part of the world. Here the country 
belongs to the peasant, and in describing him I have 
described the one typical and predominating element 
in South German rural hfe. 



CHAPTER XVIII 

NATIONAL SPIRIT 

IN Karlsruhe I see so many royalties — Imperial 
and minor — that I feel quite as though I were 
in the Court Circle. Perhaps I have been particu- 
larly privileged in this respect, for in the time that I 
have been here the late Grand-Duke's jubilee, his 
lamented death, the Kaiser Manoeuvres this year, 
and other similar important events have gathered 
together many crowned heads in the simple 
Karlsruhe palace, and as Karlsruhe proper con- 
centrates itself into quite a small circumference, 
it was scarcely possible to go outside the house 
without — figuratively — running up against the 
Emperor or the Crown Prince or the Grand-Duke 
or some other potentate, so much so that I am now 
an adept at Hof Knixe, though they still cover my 
Enghsh soul with embarrassment. 

FamiUarity breeds contempt. I do not think in 
this case that there is any question of contempt, 
but it is undoubtably true that in Germany royalties 
do not cause the same sensation as in England. One 
sees too many and too much of them. Here, for 
instance, one meets the Grand-Duke — the whole 
Ducal family, in fact — walking along the streets, 
in the forest, shopping, riding, driving, in the theatre, 




§ > 

o a 

z z^ 






NATIONAL SPIRIT 269 

everjrwhere and at all times, so that an explosion of 
enthusiasm on every appearance would be embarrass- 
ing and exhausting. It is bad enough as it is, and 
I should think the constant acknowledgment of 
the bows and hat-hfting with which the Grand- 
Duke is greeted must considerably mar the pleasure 
of a walk through his capital. The same appUes 
to other royalties. The Emperor comes at least 
twice a year on a visit ; the Queen of Sweden spends 
a great part of her time at her native Court, and 
there is a constant va-et-vient of such great people, 
so that no one gets worked up to any pitch of excite- 
ment or interest when they make their appearance. 
The first time I went to witness the Emperor's 
arrival I was filled with eagerness, and was not a 
little disgusted at the reception accorded to him. 
A thin crowd, a general hat-lifting, a few cheers — 
that was all, and I came home with the impression that 
the Germans were either the most unpatriotic people 
I had ever met, or the Emperor the most unpopular 
monarch. After having witnessed the fourteenth 
arrival, however, I feel that neither supposition was 
correct. In the first place, my own eagerness has 
died a natural death. I have had the pleasure of 
sitting so many times vis-a-vis to his Imperial 
Majesty through the long Wagner operas, that I 
feel there is nothing to be gained by going to the 
station to witness his arrival. No doubt that is 
the wrong standpoint. I shall be told that the 
people should go to welcome, not to stare — which is 
very nice in theory, but unfortunately, Hke so many 
theories, finds but Httle popularity in the practice. 
The reason that a crowd gathers together when 



270 MY GERMAN YEAR 

a great personage is expected is that they want 
to see the show and make a noise, and if the Emperor 
needs any consolation he may be sure that those 
who do witness his arrival are there simply and 
solely to welcome him. The usual noisy sightseers 
are not present — that is the only loss. Moreover, 
the German temperament must be taken into con- 
sideration before passing judgment. The German is 
an enthusiast, but an enthusiast of a very stolid type. 
There is not a grain of jingoism in his make-up, and 
when he does break through the wall of seeming 
indifference, he does it in an orderly sort of way, and 
only on really great occasions. Hence the foreigner 
can be surprised in two ways — as I was. He can 
be surprised at the everyday coldness of the 
people as regards national matters, and at the 
passionate, profound feehng which answers to a 
great call. I had, for instance, no idea of the love 
and reverence in which the late Grand-Duke was 
held until his jubilee and his death. The one 
occasion was a revelation of an enthusiastic devotion 
which few rulers dare lay claim to, the other revealed 
a whole people plunged into mourning. It is the 
same in all the other branches of national feeling, 
and to this placidity of temperament must be 
added other ingredients which go to make up the 
German's own pecuUar patriotism. Germany is the 
German's Fatherland, but the German is something 
else besides a German. He is a Badener, a Bavarian, 
a Saxon, a Prussian, and his own particular Httle 
Fatherland, his own particular sovereign, are, in 
everyday Ufe, nearer and dearer to him than the 
whole great unity and its Imperial ruler. Here, 




> 



o 



NATIONAL SPIRIT 271 

and I suppose it is the same in every State, 
the Grand-Duke has the first place in the people's 
hearts, the Emperor the second. It is only natural 
that it should be so, and in many ways it has its 
great advantages. The Emperor is a splendid, 
far-off figure, ruhng the destinies of the Empire ; 
the Grand-Duke is the direct father of his people ; 
he goes amongst them, Hves amongst them, is present 
at all their festivities, shares in all their joys and 
sorrows, assists financially and by his presence in 
every social movement. There is no one, however 
small or insignificant, who is not, as it were, in touch 
with the ruHng house, who is not within reach of 
the Grand-Duke's help and sympathy. I remember 
an amusing Uttle incident which illustrates this 
close relationship. At the late Grand-Duke's 
jubilee a number of peasants from the Black 
Forest, gay in their picturesque " Tracht," were 
being marshalled past the Imperial visitors. The 
Empress observed amongst them a young fellow 
with a large bouquet of wild flowers, who hesitated 
before her, evidently covered with embarrassment. 
Beheving that the flowers were intended for her, 
and wishing to help him out of his dijB&culty, she 
smilingly stretched out her hand. The boy shook 
his head with great determination, and pointed at 
the Grand-Duke. 

" Dem do ! " (" For him there ! ") he said, and 
pushing past the Empress thrust his gift into his own 
ruler's hand. He did not mean any rudeness — it 
seemed only natural to him that his Grand-Duke 
should have the first and the best. It was only a 
little thing, but it typified the attitude of the 



272 MY GERMAN YEAR 

people as a whole. The Imperial family is held in 
awe and respect, but the Grand-Duke is their very 
own. 

One hears a great deal about SociaHsm in Ger- 
many — or at least one reads a great deal about it — 
and from the number of seats which that party has 
won in the Reichstag, and from the meetings which 
are held, one would suppose that it was a very mighty 
party indeed. So it is — but not to the extent which 
the Sociahsts flatter themselves. There are two 
things which make the Socialist party appear 
stronger than it really is. The first is that the 
middle-class German, the patriotic and Imperial 
German, takes no interest in politics, and is very 
difficult to rouse to action. Thus, whilst the Social- 
ists vote to the last man, the Liberals and Conserva- 
tives, out of which the best part of the nation is 
composed, sit at home, smoke and drink their beer, 
and forget that such things as elections ever existed. 
The second point is that the German of all classes is 
not at heart a Socialist ; at heart he is loyal and 
Imperial, and when he votes with the Socialist it is 
because he is a German, consequently very disgusted 
with everything, and determined on showing his 
disapproval in the most effective way possible. The 
Emperor, naturally, has his share of the grumblings 
of his subjects, and very strained relationships 
have often been the consequence. The fatal " dis- 
closures ^' of a few months ago is a case in point. 
Strong was the disapproval, and bitter the reproaches, 
but at the bottom I do not beheve that the Emperor 
has lost a whit of his popularity. On the contrary, 
judging from the reception accorded to him here 



NATIONAL SPIRIT 273 

shortly afterwards, the people were secretly rather 
proud that their Emperor has a temperament which 
occasionally runs away with him. It is after all some- 
what exceptional to have a temperament nowadays. 
At any rate I advise no one to agree with the German 
when he grumbles at his ruler. It is the German's 
privilege to grumble, just as it is the privilege in an 
ordinary family for the members to say unpleasant 
things about each other, but woe to the outsider who 
dares to interfere ! Moreover, Wilham ii. is an 
Emperor in more than name ; outwardly and in his 
life he represents his position, his very love of 
magnificence throwing a glamour, a medieval 
splendour about him which appeals to the German 
character and taste. And the nation recognises him 
as a man of high principles and high ideals, with his 
country's greatness well at heart, and those virtues 
have held him bound to his people in the worst and 
stormiest periods of their relations towards each 
other. Whatever else he is the Emperor is German; 
German in his ideas, in his virtues, and in his failings. 
His people recognise themselves in him, they see in 
him the epitome of their race, and if they disagree 
with him — as is the way with those who resemble 
each other too closely — a real and prolonged estrange- 
ment is impossible. As to the Press, its '' revela- 
tions,'' " disclosures," " interviews," and scandals, 
one can only feel an intense pity for a man who, 
thanks to his exalted position, is laid open to the 
calumnies of bad enemies and the betrayal of worse 
friends without the possibihty of redress. Lese 
Majesty indeed ! The expression seems to me 
wholly ironical. The Emperor, as far as I can see, 
i8 



274 MY GERMAN YEAR 

is the only man in this country who can be abused, 
betrayed, and Ubelled with impunity. 

This is not a pohtical chapter ; poUtics do not 
play any greater part in my German Year than they 
play in the year of the average German, and I will 
therefore desist from a long discourse on the subject. 
The German himself has very little interest in the 
matter. A short time ago the elections took place in 
Karlsruhe without causing the slightest disturbance 
or excitement. The papers and those actually 
engaged in the struggle worked themselves up to the 
correct fever pitch with appeals, threats, denuncia- 
tions, and so on, but the people remained entirely 
passive. It is this indifierence which must be 
remembered when calculating the powers of the 
various parties or when seeking to find out the real 
feeling of the nation. Newspaper opinions are 
practically valueless. The newspaper is not the 
voice of the people — it is the voice of the party, and 
the foreigner who Ustens with over great seriousness 
to the rantings and bickerings of the Press, under the 
impression that it is Germany who is speaking, is 
liable to be very much misled. The average German 
takes very Httk heed of the opinions of his daily paper. 
He skips through the latest news paragraph, ignores 
the pohtical column, and considers he has done his 
duty. The Enghshman with his half-dozen terrific 
periodicals fills him with amazement, and what still 
more astonishes him is the importance which the 
Anglo-Saxon attaches to Press opinions and pro- 
phecies. The German holds them to be of no value 
whatever ; they are not his opinions, but the opinions 
of a party which is itself not representative — far less 



NATIONAL SPIRIT 275 

so than in England where the people are steeped in 
poUtics down to the lowest workman. The Sociahst 
party, for instance, is composed of a comparative 
handful of red-hot demagogues supported by a mass 
of ignorance, stupidity, discontent, and indifierence. 
When some over-zealous Junker in the Reichstag 
makes some autocratic remark which displeases him, 
the labourer throws in his vote for the Sociahst 
without further thought over the matter. The 
Sociahst receives him with open arms as a convert, 
and the labourer remains what he was — a respect- 
able citizen who will probably be the first to cheer 
the Emperor when he sees him. From what I have 
heard and seen, I beheve any great appeal to the 
nation, as in the case of war, would burst the great 
Sociahst party hke a bubble. 

There is, however, one dark spot in the national 
character which is not to be denied and difficult 
to excuse. This is the almost servile admiration 
which a certain type of German has for foreign 
ways and foreign customs, his ready adoption of 
their fashions and, what is worse and all too 
frequent, his adoption of their nationahty. As far 
as I know, the German is the only man who will 
not only dehberately and wilhngly deny the land 
of his birth and take on new colours, but will look 
back upon his origin as a sort of stigma. Even in 
my small circle I know three or four famihes without 
a drop of Enghsh blood in their veins who have 
become naturahsed British subjects, and are deeply 
ofiended if you do not pronounce their German name 
in the Enghsh way. What is more they will not 
hesitate to abuse their blood-countrymen, make 



276 MY GERMAN YEAR 

fun of their customs, and exalt their newly-acquired 
nationality in a manner pecuUarly objectionable. 
They are the parvenus of the nation, people who, 
having forced their way into a circle to which 
they do not belong, attempt to hide their origin 
by throwing as much mud over it as they can. 
The Prussian rarely if ever sins in this respect ; he 
is a true patriot, passionately German, and it is to 
him therefore that Germany owes her greatness. 
The South German is the worst sinner ; and though 
it is only one class which produces these parasites 
— chiefly the merchant and bourgeois class — it is 
quite large enough to make the matter serious. It 
is as though in this particular circle the national 
feeUng had never fully developed, but remained a 
stunted growth which is easily uprooted and replaced 
by another plant — usually carefully cultivated with 
gold and self-interest. I have said elsewhere that 
the aristocracy and a certain superior division of 
the bourgeoisie formed the backbone of the nation, 
and their patriotism is another proof. The aristo- 
crat is German to the core ; he is not only proud 
of his old name, but of his birth, his home, his 
country, and his Emperor. He is ready to sacrifice 
everything for these, his highest ideals. Whatever 
else may be said of him, he is at least no turncoat. 
Old-fashioned, conservative, and autocratic he may 
be, but if patriotism is old-fashioned and conservative 
then is the nation to be pitied who stands in the 
advance-guard of progress ! 

I remember, during a tour through the Black 
Forest some time ago, sitting at the dinner table 
of an hotel with two Germans who had entered into 



NATIONAL SPIRIT 277 

a hot discussion over their own and other countries. 
I knew neither by name, but, as is usual in Germany, 
we were on bowing terms, and both knew that I 
was EngHsh. Perhaps as a bad compUment the one 
began to abuse Germany and to exalt England above 
every other nation. I certainly felt far from 
flattered. The fact that an educated man could 
speak as he did of his own country before a foreigner 
seemed to leave an unpleasant taste in the mouth. 
The other German was furious, and at last rose and 
left the table with the remark — 

" Whatever grievances you may have you have 
no right to speak as you have done. Whatever 
her faults Germany is your country and should be 
for you the only country in the world. "" 

The rest of the meal was decidedly uncomfortable, 
and afterwards I asked my German friend, who 
during the discussion had been simmering with 
indignation, if she knew who the two men were. 
We found out from the visitors' book, and it was 
significant that the patriot was a Prussian count, 
the other a merchant from some South German 
commercial city. Naturally I do not base my 
conclusions on this one instance, nor do I infer that 
all the merchant class is composed of such types. 
All I can assert is that the parasites — they are httle 
better — who settle in other countries, taking all 
the benefits they can get and denying their father- 
land, are recruited chiefly from the ranks of the 
money-makers. Even there, however, this disease 
or weakness in national pride is gradually^ dis- 
appearing. It was no doubt the result of the long 
years when patriotism was cramped and discouraged 



278 MY GERMAN YEAR 

by the fatal disunity ; and now that Germany as a 
united nation has taken her place in the foremost 
rank, her children are throwing off the old vice and 
beginning to display the high pride of race without 
which no people can be truly great. And to-day 
let no one be misled by the grumblings and seeming 
indifference of a certain class. A ready overflow 
of patriotic feeling on every small occasion is usually 
tainted with hysteria, and the German is not hysterical. 
His enthusiasm and his patriotism lies deep below 
the surface, and only when the storm winds of danger 
or adversity arise will the world know the forces 
which are hidden beneath the calm. With the call 
to arms divisions and hatreds will be forgotten, and 
the Emperor will find himself at the head of a 
mighty united nation, ready to make every sacrifice 
and — above all — prepared. 



CHAPTER XIX 

WHICH CONTAINS AN APPEAL AND AN APOLOGY 

IN the six years which I have spent ahnost 
uninterruptedly in Germany and amongst the 
German people, I have not once had to defend my 
nationahty, or heard a word which could wound 
my national pride. Those who have hved a 
great deal abroad will understand that that is a 
big statement, and it is all the bigger because in 
those six years the tension between the two 
countries has been acute and the war clouds have 
hung heavy on the horizon. On the one 
hand I read of nothing but hatred, jealousy, and 
rivalry; on the other I experienced nothing but 
kindness, courtesy, and goodwill. I do not think 
my experience is exceptional. Enghsh people with 
open minds who Uve in this country have only 
affection to express for their German hosts, and 
they in turn are invariably popular and welcomed in 
every circle of German society. The old dislike for 
the Enghshman has long since been swept away, 
and as individuals the two races agree admirably. 
Why not then as nations ? There is the difficulty, 
the problem which perhaps only time will solve. 
As I have said before, not a httle of the trouble is 
due to the newspapers and to those dangerous 

279 



280 MY GERMAN YEAR 

people who have never been out of England but 
know all about it, but even putting those two irre- 
sponsible sources of irritation aside, there remains an 
undeniable bitterness. That the bitterness is very 
one-sided is as obvious as it is inevitable. Age is 
afraid and jealous of youth — not youth of age. We 
have grown and can grow no more and can only 
fight against decay ; the German nation is growing, 
and we watch her progress with an alarm which 
in private hfe shows itself in obstinate prejudice, 
in pubUc life in feverish activity and restless out- 
bursts of irritabihty. The German attitude towards 
England during these periods is one of surprise and 
mild amusement. In various ways the question 
which the German asks is, " Why do you worry so ? 
Are you grown so weak that you cannot watch the 
progress of another nation without panic ? We 
do not want war with you. We want to develop, 
we must develop, we have the right to develop. 
Leave us in peace, and we will leave you in 
peace."" 

It is the cry of youth and national vitahty 
seeking an outlet, and that it rings unpleasantly 
on our older ears is almost inevitable. We do not 
and dare not trust to the proffered peace. Uncon- 
sciously or consciously we look forward to the time 
when youth shall have become full-grown, and old 
age decrepitude, and ask if it would not be better to 
strike now, whilst we have the strength. That is 
also what the German asks. He wonders why we have 
not struck long ago, since, at the bottom, he beheves 
that it is now too late, that in a war between two 
countries his nation would come out victorious. 



AN APPEAL AND AN APOLOGY 281 

But even if he were mistaken, even if there were 
still time, an attack deUvered out of sheer fear of the 
future would be, in the end, as disastrous as it would 
be unEngKsh. We condemn all attempts to cripple 
a rival in sport, firstly because it is unfair ; secondly, 
because we know that such an attempt is rarely 
successful. We know that the fittest wins, and as 
good sportsmen we prefer to stand aside, cheering 
the winner even though he do not carry our colours. 
In the greater struggle between the nations the same 
principle holds good. The fittest wins. Therefore 
it is above all things necessary that we should steel 
ourselves in national virtues, in energy, in self- 
sacrifice, in unsparing endeavour, believing that if 
we are worthy, if we have retained our old high 
standard, we shall also retain our place in the world. 
Wealth, Dreadnoughts, spasmodic bursts of activity, 
defensive alliances, and so on, will not save us from 
the future — our own fitness is our one salvation, 
and our fitness Ues in our national character, not in 
our national pocket. At the bottom it is not the 
Germans we are afraid of but of ourselves, and when 
we have once recovered our self-confidence, our 
justified belief in our own strength and virtue, we 
shall be able to greet the growing nation as an ally 
and a friend. The only question is whether that 
justified behef and self-confidence is still possible. 

Perhaps this short digression into national 
matters may appear to have very httle to do with my 
German Year, but, indeed, the relations between 
the two countries play a great part in my German 
life. It is not possible to love and respect a foreign 
people and not feel the keenest regret when shadows 



282 MY GERMAN YEAR 

of misunderstanding arise between them and my own 
countrymen. It is not possible to receive hospit- 
ality and kindness from them, to hve in peace and 
mutual understanding in their midst, and not wish 
that the same feehngs of friendship and goodwill 
might exist between the nations as well as between 
the individuals. I firmly believe that the German 
people — I am not speaking of the poUticians and 
newspapers, but of the people whose casting vote 
will weigh more than all else together — wish for 
peace, and are ready, even eager, to hold out the 
hand of friendship. Two nations who, time after 
time, have fought shoulder to shoulder, who together 
saved Europe from her greatest danger, related in 
blood and in all the highest virtues of courage, 
tenacity, and loyalty, should surely go forward in 
the future united as in the past. It is the only 
logical, the only natural and just solution of the 
problem which confronts us, and it is a union worthy 
of every effort and of every sacrifice. On its con- 
summation depends the world's future, humanity's 
progress. England against Germany ! We dare 
not imagine the end of such a disaster, and woe to 
that nation which first draws the sword — but 
England and Germany together ! It may be a 
dream, a Utopia beyond earthly power of reahsation, 
but it is a dream worth dreaming, and no man, no 
nation is the worse for struggling towards an ideal 
however high, however unattainable. And we have 
no right to cry " impossible ! " — not yet. There is 
still time and hope. Only let true greatness of 
purpose, true generosity, open-mindedness, and 
faith replace the canker-worms of fear, envy, hatred, 



AN APPEAL AND AN APOLOGY 283 

and distrust, and the ideal will be within reach and 
the world's danger passed for ever. 

So much for my humble appeal. The pohtician 
will no doubt smile condescendingly and produce 
statistics, extracts from papers, speeches, and secret 
treaties enough to overwhelm an ignorant private 
individual. But I refuse to be overwhelmed. My 
German years have given me hope, and I prefer to 
go on hoping to the end. 

This German Year, at any rate, is finished, the 
wander through my impressions and experiences 
closed. I lay no claim to infalhbiUty ; there are 
exceptions to every rule, and it may be that in 
certain points I am wholly mistaken. But I have 
described faithfully what I have seen and heard, 
and by that witness alone have I formed my opinions 
and passed my judgment. I am fully conscious 
that I have said nothing new, nothing which all 
Germans and many English people living in this 
country do not already know, and for this I apologise. 
But if I have lifted a corner of the veil which divides 
the great bulk of my countrymen from my German 
friends, if I have brought the two peoples a step 
nearer, then my task has not been undertaken 
wholly in vain. 



THE END. 



Printed by Morrison & Gibb Limitbd, Edinburgh 



"Jacqueline is a darling,"— 06s ez-yer. 

THE EDUCATION 
OF JACQUELINE 

BY 

CLAIRE DE PRATZ 

(Author of " Elizabeth Davenay ") 

With a Portrait of Jacqueline in Photogravure 
Third Edition. 6s. 



Mr. James Douglas. — *' It is not a vapid and insipid love story, 
but a vividly imaginative study of the real growth of a real soul. 
Jacqueline is a fascinating girl, and Mile, de Pratz makes her live, 
with her impetuous independence, her joyous freedom, and her 
incorrigible coquetry. . . . The dramatic power of the episode in 
Jerome's studio is undeniable. It is the great culminating point 
of the story, and Mile, de Pratz handles the whole tragedy with 
absolute mastery. A false touch would have ruined it, but the 
pathos of the situation redeems it from any tinge or taint of coarse- 
ness. Altogether 'The Education of Jacqueline' is a novel that 
will delight everybody, so fresh is its theme, so light is its style, and 
so charming is its sentiment." 

Daily Chronicle. — "Extraordinarily well written and full of 
wisdom." 

Times. — ^"A well- written story with thought in it, the scene 
mostly in Paris." 

Morning Leader. — " It is a real triumph for Mile. Claire de 
Pratz that she has presented a full-length portrait of a modern 
Frenchwoman which English readers cannot but understand and 
admire." 

Pall Mall Gazette. — "Jacqueline learns her mother's secret in a 
scene which is a masterpiece of emotional analysis. . . . The scene 
at the opening of the book is a chef d'oeuvre of dramatic intensity 
and dramatic reticence." 

Spectator. — "Well worth reading." 

Globe. — "Jacqueline herself is a delightful creation." 

Daily Telegraph. — "Excellent reading, no keen novel reader 
should miss it." 

Tatler. — "A really readable delightful story." 

MILLS & BOON, Ltd., 49 RUPERT STREET, W. 



The Rajah's People 

BY 

I. A. R. WYLIE 

With 3 Illustrations by Ivo Puhonny 

Crown Svo, 6Si 
FzftA Edition^ making 5000 Copies 3 weeks after publication 

EXTRACTS FROM SOME OF THE REVIEWS OF THIS 
REMARKABLE FIRST NOVEL:— 

Daily Chronicle. — "The best Indian novel that we have read since 
' On the Face of the Waters.' " 

Globe. — " With his first novel he has achieved, if not greatness, the 
next best thing, the right to be reckoned among the best of his con- 
temporaries. ... It has freshness of outlook, a well-conceived plot, 
and a firm hold on the essentials of humanity." 

Scotsman. — "A strong, sound, and capable piece of work." 

World. — "A very noticeable addition to the excellent fiction written 
by those who have heard ' the East a-callin' ' to some purpose." 

Morning Leader. — "There are all the qualities here of a notable 
novel. It has action, imagination, and length. Plainly the writer 
should have a career." 

Liverpool Post. — "One of the best, and certainly one of the most 
entertaining stories of Indian life pubhshed for some time, and we 
must congratulate Mr. Wylie upon an unqualified success. We can 
thoroughly recommend the book, and welcome its author as a new 
viTiter very much above the average. ' The Rajah's People ' is a 
remarkable first novel, and should be widely read." 

Evening News. — " It grips the reader on the first page and holds 
him to the last. Mr. Wylie has begun so well that one must hope 
that he will not keep us long without a second book." 

AthencBum. — "An ingenious plot." 

Hearth and Home. — " Full of human interest." 

Outlook. — "A fine and dramatic story." 

Pall Mall Gazette. — " Forceful and vivid." 

Mirror. — " Most exciting and original." 

Manchester Courier. — "Thrilling, surprising, and excellent." 

Daily News. — " The author must be congratulated." 

MILLS & BOON, Ltd., 49 RUPERT STREET, W. 



THE SWORD MAKER 

BY 

ROBERT BARR 

AUTHOR OF "CARDILLAC" 

Third Edition - = 6s. 



Punch says — 

** If, as I'm led to understand, 

The coming summer should be fine, 
Myriads, Baedeker in hand, 

Will wander forth to do the Rhine. 

With Baedeker, it's true, they'll make 

Certain of all the sights there are, 
But I would have them also take 

Tke Sword Maker, by Robert Barr. 

Barr gives them the romantic side. 

Dressed in a very taking way. 
With thrills and love affairs to tide 

Over the ennui of the day. 

Indeed, the book (from Mills & Boon) 

So pleased my jaded appetite, 
That, starting late one afternoon, 

It held me far into the night." 

The Globe. — "The story is told with well sustained animation; 
it includes a large amount of exciting incident ; and humour, usually 
absent from historical romance, abounds and is of good quality. 
Needless to say a pleasing love interest is provided." 

The Bystander. — "A story that boys as well as adults will 
revel in.' 

World. — "Very lively reading." 

Morning Post. — "An exciting tale thoroughly to be recom- 
mended." 

Pall Mall Gazette.— *' A brilliant and dashing romance." 

Dally Chronicle. —"So fresh and unhackneyed. A capital story. " 

Liverpool Post. — "This fine novel." 

Sheffield Daily Telegraph. — "A fascinating story." 

Dundee Advertiser. — " Uncommonly well imaged." 

MILLS & BOON, Ltd., 49 RUPERT STREET, W. 



Why are so many Jesus men called Jones? 

The Romance of 
The Oxford Colleges 



FRANCIS GRIBBLE 

Wiih Photogravure Frontispiece and Sixteen other Illustrations 
Crown SvOi 68a 

Answers this type of question. 



SOME REVIEWS. 



Oxford Magazine. — "Mr. Gribble has wisely ignored all that is 
dull and merely academic, and has skilfully put together all that is 
most interesting in the history of the Colleges, thus producing a 
book which should be as welcome to Oxford men as to the inquiring 
visitor." 

Granta {Cambridge). — " This vastly entertaining book will appeal 
not only to the Oxford man and the visitor to Oxford, but also to 
all those who care for merriment or are interested in the doings of 
great men." 

Pall Mall Gazette. — "Mr. Gribble has a delightful style and a 
most refreshing gift of humour." 

Sketch. — "Chatters pleasantly of men rather than things, of 
doings rather than of dates. He conjures up spirits of the famous 
dead, gives them substance and shadow, breathes into them that 
subtle something which is life." 

Westminster Gazette. — " Does not contain a dull page." 

Daily Chronicle. — " A jolly sort of book." 

Sunday Times. — "One of the liveliest and most up-to-date 
books published." 

Telegraph. — "Mr. Cribble's comely volume distinguishes itself 
from the rank and file by a genuinely original outlook." 



MILLS & BOON, Ltd., 49 RUPERT STREET, W. 



" A pleasant blend of fiction, with sound if unconventioned 
instruction." — Daily Graphic. 



LETTERS OF A 

MODERN GOLFER TO 

HIS GRANDFATHER 

Being the Correspondence of Richard Allingham, Esq. 
Arranged by Henry Leach 

With Frontispiece in Photogravure. Crown 8vo. 68i 



Has received the crowning glory of a page skit in Punch. — 
" Inspired by the success of Letters of a Modern Golfer^ a well- 
known firm of publishers will bring out in August a realistic work 
on the same lines, by Mr. Samuel Withers, entitled Letters to a 
Porcupine Hunter's Nephew^ in which," etc. For the rest of this 
delightful skit, see the issue of June 1 5th, page 440. 

Truth. — " Will delight lovers of the game. The book makes 
amusing and interesting reading, its pages abound in valuable 
hints." 

Oxford Times. — *' A book of quite unique interest and value." 

Daily Mail. — " Full of the science of the game." 

Daily Telegraph. — "A cheery little book, not entirely a work of 
fiction, nor yet a manual on the game, but it combines the qualities 
of both, and adds the charm of a pleasant meditative temperament 
to the sterner attributes of criticism." 

Yorkshire /l?^/.—" Touches on things with the genial pen of the 
man who sees everything, but prefers to look for the best that is in 
his fellows." 



MILLS & BOON, Ltd., 49 RUPERT STREET, W. 



Autumn Announcements, 1910 3 

absorbing interest. The greatest of her discouragements 
came from her family. They implored her to give 
up the idea of singing. Her first engagement was a 
failure, because the management was frightened at 
the originality of her method and songs. A few years 
afterwards the same management offered her a fabulous 
salary to sing the very same songs. 

When she came to England, in 1894, she took London 
by storm. Public and critics raved about her. Yvette 
Guilbert in her long black gloves was a name to conjure 
with. 

Madame Guilbert 's story of her early struggles and 
victories, of her conquest of her critics, and of her final 
triumph in the art which she has made so peculiarly her 
own, is an intensely human document that cannot fail 
in its appeal to a very wide public, and will appear in 
the original French. A complete translation of this, 
together with a critical record of Madame Guilbert's 
life by Harold Simpson, will also be included. 

My German Year. 

By I. A. R. WYLIE, Author cf "The Rajah's People." 
With 2 Illustrations in Colour and 18 from Photographs. 
Demy 8vo. 105. 6d. net. 

In " My German Year " I. A. R. Wylie has added a 
striking and absorbing volume to the list of books which 
have been written on Germany and the Germans. 
The author's long and intimate acquaintance with the 
people whom she has set out to describe, her close, 
first-hand knowledge of the conditions in all the different 
classes, her unprejudiced and sympathetic insight have 
made it possible for her to say much that is new and 
interesting on an old subject. Where others have 
dealt with statistics and politics she has penetrated 
down to the character and spirit of the people them- 
selves, and revealed there the source of their greatness, 
their aims and ideals. Written in a pleasant, almost 
conversational style, with many reminiscences and 
anecdotes, " My German Year " is yet inspired with 



4 Mills & Boon's Catalogue 

a serious purpose — that of bringing about a better 
understanding and appreciation of the German char- 
acter, and certainly those who have wandered with the 
author through town and country, from the Black 
Forester's hut to the Imperial Palace, must feel that 
they have seen their cousins in another, truer, and 
more sympathetic light. 

Forty Years of a Sportsman's Life. 

By SIR CLAUDE CHAMPION DE CRESPIGNY. Bart. 
With 1 8 Illustrations. Demy 8vo. los. 6d. net. 

Steeplechasing, Ballooning, Boxing, Big-Game Shoot- 
ing, or acting as War Correspondent, they all come 
alike to Sir Claude Champion de Crespigny, whose life 
has been one long series of adventures by land, sea, and 
air. There is probably no man living who has a greater 
contempt for danger of any kind than Sir Claude. As 
a horseman he has probably not half a dozen superiors 
in the -world ; while his chapter of accidents is long 
enough to fill a book. 

Starting life in the Navy, he eventually entered the 
Army, and saw service in India, where, incidentally, 
he won many a famous steeplechase. When the Franco- 
German War broke out he tried to get to the front, 
and was nearly arrested as a German spy. In 1889, 
at the time of the Dervish Raid, he went as a volunteer 
to Egypt, finally acting as war correspondent ; was 
through the Boer War, and took part in the Sotik 
Punitive Expedition in East Africa. 

The story of his adventures and the yarns he has 
to teU of the interesting people he has met in many 
lands make very enthralling, not to say "racy," 
reading. 

The Story of the British Navy. 

By E. KEBLE CHATTERTON, Author of " Sailing 
Ships." Fully illustrated. Demy Svo. 105. 6d. net. 

An attempt has been made in this book to tell in 
non-technical language for the interest of the general 



Autumn Announcements, 1910 5 

reader the story of the British Navy from the earliest 
times up to the present day. To the sons and daughters 
of an island race, to the subjects of a Sailor-King, 
whose Empire stretches beyond the Seas, such a story 
as that of the greatest Navy of the world cannot fail 
to be read with the keenest enthusiasm. It has been 
the object of the author to relate within the limits of 
a volume of moderate dimensions the fascinating 
evolution of the " mightiest ocean-power on earth." 
If it be true, as Tennyson says, that England's all-in-all 
is her Navy, if our island and our Empire are dependent 
so thoroughly on a fleet in being, it is not necessary to 
point out the demands which such a book as this should 
make on the attention of all who respect the British 
Flag. Those who read and enjoyed Mr. Chatterton's 
big volume on the history of the Sailing-Ship will ap- 
preciate this present book, which, besides its wealth of 
interesting historical detail (the result of considerable 
research), is full of exciting and inspiriting sea-fights 
and adventures. WeU illustrated with pictures both 
ancient and modern, this is just the book to give to any 
boy or man who has the slightest affection for the sea 
and a loyal devotion to his Motherland. 

A Century of Ballads (1810—1910), Their 
Composers and Singers. 

By HAROLD SIMPSON. Fully illustrated. Demy 8vo. 
los. 6d. net. 

The story of popular songs, how they were written, 
their singers and their composers, is one which appeals 
to a very wide public, other than the purely musical. 

In this book Mr. Simpson, after outlining the earlier 
history and vicissitudes of English song, deals with 
the songs and singers whose names have been '' house- 
hold words " for the past fifty years. 

There is a great deal of romance attaching to the 
subject of popular song ballads, and anecdotes of 
composers and singers abound in this work, which is 
written entirely from a popular and non-critical stand- 



6 Milts & Boon*s Catalogue 

point. The countless thousands who have listened to 
and delighted in Sullivan's " Lost Chord," for instance, 
have probably no idea of the circumstances under 
which it came to be written ; and the same may be said 
of a host of other songs that have been sung in almost 
every home throughout the countr}^ 

The book is profusely illustrated with portraits of 
composers and singers, past and present, and contains 
several original fascimiles of well-known songs. 

Swiss Mountain Climbs. 

By GEORGE D. ABRAHAM, Author of "British 
Mountain CHmbs," " The Complete Mountaineer." 
Illustrated with Photographs and Diagrams. Pocket 
size. Waterproof Cloth. Uniform with " British Moun- 
tain Climbs." 7s. 6d. net. 

The average mountaineer who wishes to visit the 
Swiss Alps usually experiences great difficulty in select- 
ing a suitable district for his holiday. In this book 
all the leading centres are dealt with, and the attractions 
they offer are plainly set forth. Up-to-date and reliable 
descriptions are given of the routes up all the most 
important peaks, whilst the principal passes are dealt 
with. The work, which is largely the result of personal 
experience and exploration, will be found especially 
helpful for those who have passed the novitiate stages 
and wish to know something of suitable expeditions 
for guideless attempts. 

The ascents are grouped around the various centres, 
and the best maps for these are noted. Instead of 
graduated lists of courses the guides' tariffs for each 
district are included. These give a capital idea of the 
varying difficulties of the courses, and will be found 
enlightening in other ways. For instance, the cost of 
climbing so many peaks can be reckoned beforehand ; 
the expensive districts stand revealed. A great deal 
of practical information is given on other points. 

Especial attention has been bestowed on the illus- 
trations ; the bulk of these are entirely new, and pre- 
pared especially for this work. Numerous line drawings 



Autumn Announcements, 1910 7 

showing the principal routes help to add finish to a 
copiously illustrated book, which is of such size that it 
can be carried anywhere in the climber's pocket — a 
practical, useful, and interesting companion. 

Home Life in Ireland. 

By ROBERT LYND. Illustrated from photographs. 

Third and Popular Edition, with a New Preface. Crown 
8vo. 6s. 

Spectator. — " Mr. Lynd has written an entertaining and in- 
forming book about Ireland. On the whole, he holds the balance 
between North and South, minister and priest, and the various 
oppositions which are to be found in the country with an even 
hand. There is a specially interesting chapter on ' Marriages 
and Match-making.' We naturally have said more about points 
of difference than about points of agreement ; but our criticisms 
do not touch the real value of the book. It is the work of a close 
and interested observer." 



The German Spy System in France. 

Translated from the French of Paul Lanoir. Crown 8vo. 
5s. net. 

The aim of the author is to open the eyes of his 
countrymen in France to the baneful activity of German 
spies in their midst, and to endeavour to stimulate 
public opinion to take the necessary counter-measures. 
The genesis and development are traced of the up-to- 
date and highly organised secret service now maintained 
by Germany. This service performs the double function 
of " political action " and spying proper, the former 
including the subsidisation of strikes and the propa- 
gation of anti-militarism in foreign countries, and the 
whole organisation is a striking example of German 
thoroughness. The features of the present organisation 
are described in considerable detail : many sidelights 
are thrown on famous historical personages, and the 
numerous episodes narrated are full of human interest. 
The book gives food for much anxious thought on the 
part of citizens of countries in the neighbourhood of 
the Kaiser's dominions. The possibility of the applica- 



8 Mills <S- Boon's Catalogue 

tion in England of methods similar to those whose 
successful working in France is here described can 
scarcely fail to suggest itself to the reader. Many little 
incidents, personally observed or reported in the daily 
press, assume an entirely new and interesting significa- 
tion in the light of the revelations of this work, and a 
perusal of its pages is not unlikely to leave many 
readers in doubt whether their previous scorn of '' spy 
mania " was based on altogether adequate knowledge. 

Ships and Sealing Wax. 

By HANSARD WATT. With 40 illustrations by L. R. 
BRIGHTWELL. Crown 4to. 3s. 6d. net. 

" Ships and Sealing Wax " is a volume of light verse 
by Hansard Watt, author of *' Home-Made History," 
" Through the Loopholes of Retreat," etc. Mr. Watt's 
verses are well known to magazine readers, and the 
present volume contains many of his contributions to 
Punch. As the discerning will gather from the title, 
" Ships and Sealing Wax " deals with " many things." 
The book is delightfully illustrated by L. R. Brightwell, 
and makes one of the best presents of the season. 

The Children's Story of Westminster Abbey. 

By Miss G. E. TROUTBECK, Author of " Westminster 
Abbey " (Little Guides). Illustrated. Popular Edition. 
Crown 8vo. 15. net. 

Scotsman. — " A volume with many merits as a gift-book for 
the young is ' The Children's Story of Westminster Abbey,' of 
which the author is G. E. Troutbeck. It is attractivelj' written, 
and contains many splendid photographs. Its chief object is to 
point out to British children how they may follow the great 
outlines of their country's history in Westminster Abbey, from 
the days of the far-off legendary King Lucius." 

The presentation edition at 5s. net can still be had, 
and makes a beautiful present for children. 



Pocket Tip Books, 1910 9 

MILLS & BOON'S 
POCKET TIP BOOKS. 

The Motorist's Pocket Tip Book. 

By GEOFFREY OSBORN. Fully illustrated. 55. net. 

The author of this book, an engineer by profession, 
has had a large and varied experience of all types of 
cars in several countries. He has compressed his 
knowledge into the pages of this book in such a manner 
that the points required to be elucidated can instantly 
be found, and if further explanation be required, the 
reader has only to turn to the chapter immediately 
preceding to find the reasons why and wherefore. 

To make this book of the utmost possible value the 
publishers have produced it in a handy pocket size and 
the author has added pages for memoranda, telephone 
numbers, maintenance charges, and the points about 
his car which no motorist can keep in his head, such as 
the engine and chassis numbers, French number plates, 
etc., so that on the score of utility and appearance it 
need never be out of the motorist's pocket. 

The Golfer's Pocket Tip Book. 

By the Authors of " The Six Handicap Golfer's Com- 
panion." Fully illustrated. 55. net. 

" The Golfer's Pocket Tip Book " provides for the 
player who is ** off " his game, a source whence he 
may extract remedies for those faults of whose existence 
he is only too well aware, but for which he has hitherto 
been unsuccessful in finding either a preventive or a 
cure. The book contains some sixty photographs 
illustrating the essential points of the golfing stroke, 
and on . the opposite page will be found a few short 
sentences to explain those points to which the photo- 
graphs are intended to call attention. 

The various strokes depicted have each been chosen 
with the definite object of demonstrating some one 
faulty action, maybe of hand or foot ; and in many 



lo Milis dt Boon's Catalogue 

cases both the correct and faulty methods have been 
illustrated and explained. It is a recognised fact that 
correct " timing " rather than physical strength makes 
for success in golf ; therefore great stress has been 
laid both on the methods of playing which conduce to 
efficiency in this respect and on those which prevent 
it. Thus a complete series will be found in illustration 
of perfect foot-action and the particular function of 
hand, wrist, and body. 

Special attention has been bestowed on the art of 
putting, and the series of photographs relating thereto 
is more complete than any which has as yet been pre- 
sented to the student of golf. The accompanying 
words of wisdom emanate from Jack White, who both 
in theory and practice excels all others in this depart- 
ment of the game. 



COMPANION SERIES, 

New Volumes. 

The Aviator's Companion. 

By D. and HENRY FARMAN and Others. Crown 8vo. 
2s. 6d. net. 

If the public who follow Aviation as a whole would 
take the trouble to follow the records of the various 
makes of machines, they would be struck with the 
practically complete immunity from accidents which 
attends pilots of the Farman aeroplanes, and they would 
also notice that when one Farman aeroplane is beaten 
it is usually by another of the same make, to wit, the 
London to Manchester flight. This book, besides 
appealing to the " man in the street," contains Farman's 
Theory of Flight. 

The Food Reformer's Companion. 

By EUSTACE MILES. M.A. Crown 8vo. 2s. 6d. net. 

The latest and most up-to-date work on diet from 
the pen of Mr. Eustace Miles. The author's knowledge 



Companion SerieSf 1910 ti 

and bright style make the book exceptionally authori- 
tative and interesting. 

Every phase of Food Reform is touched upon, and 
the touch is always that of the practical expert. 

The book is made still more helpful by the inclusion 
of new and carefully graded recipes in Progressive 
Non-Flesh Cookery by an expert chef. There are also 
valuable practical hints for beginners on such all- 
important matters as " What to avoid," " What to 
eat," " Quantities of Food," '* How many meals a 
day," etc. 

The Lady Motorist's Companion. 

By "A FOUR-INCH DRIVER." Crown 8 vo. 2s.6^.net. 
This book, written mainly for women, is also useful 
to men. The chapter on " Buying a Second-hand Car " 
explains exhaustively how to find out the amount 
of wear and tear, and will prevent the purchaser being 
" done." 

The Householder's Companion. 

By F. MINTON. Crown 8vo. 2s. 6d. net. 

The Dramatic Author's Companion. 

By " A THEATRICAL MANAGER'S READER." With 
an Introduction by ARTHUR BOURCHIER. Crown Svo. 
25. 6d. net. 

The Fisherman's Companion. 

By E. LE BRETON MARTIN. Crown 8vo. 2.5. 6d. net. 

The Nursery Nurse's Companion. 

Compiled by HONNOR MORTEN, Author of "The 
Nurse's Dictionary," etc. Crown Svo, paper wrapper, 
IS. net ; cloth, is. 6d. net. 

This book is mainly designed to help the would-be 
nurse and the would-be trainer of nurses. But it may 
prove of use to those who have gained their experience 
in the nursery, but would gladly bring their knowledge 
up-to-date. 



12 Mills & Boon's Catalogue 

EDUCATIONAL PUBLICATIONS 

A First School Chemistry. 

By F. M. OLDHAM, B.A., Master at Dulwich College ; 
late Scholar of Trinity Hall, Cambridge ; Author of 
" The Complete School Chemistry." With 71 Illustra- 
tions. Crown 8vo. 2S. 6d. 

The object of this book is to provide a sound elemen- 
tary course of practical and theoretical chemistry up 
to the standard of the Oxford and Cambridge Junior 
Local Examination and of the Second Class Examina- 
tion of the College of Preceptors. The instructions 
for'carrying out each experiment are followed by ques- 
tions. In order to answer these questions the pupil 
must think about the essential points of the experiment. 
Special features of the book are the placing first in each 
chapter of the practical work, which is followed by the 
theoretical work in continuous form, and the diagram- 
matic character of the figures, which are such as can be 
reproduced by the pupils. The book is admirably 
adapted to lead up to the same Author's " Complete 
School Chemistry/' now in its Fourth Edition. 

Preparatory Arithmetic. 

By F. C. BOON, Principal Mathematical Master at 
Dulwich College. Crown 8vo, is. Answers, with hints 
on the solution of a number of the problems, 6d. net. 

The author has here kept in sight the importance of 
teaching all the fundamental processes by such methods 
as will not have to be unlearned later, and in such quan- 
tities that no process will be found too difficult. Recent 
developments of arithmetical methods {e.g. the use of con- 
tracted methods and of the decimalised form of £ s. d.) 
as well as faciUty in quick and approximately correct 
mental calculation are the chief features of the course. 

A Public School Arithmetic. 

By F. C. BOON. Crown 8vo. With or without answers, 
3s. 6d. 

This book provides a thorough grounding in the 
principles of arithmetic. It is based on the same general 



Educational Publications^ 1910 13 

foundations as the Preparatory School Arithmetic, 
but meets the requirements of the latest developments 
of arithmetical teaching for the University and Civil 
Service Examinations. 

A New School Geometry. 

By RUPERT DEAKIN, M.A.. Balliol College. Oxford, 
and London University. Crown 8vo. is. 

Practical Mathematics. 

By W. E. HARRISON, A.R.C.S., Principal of the 
Handsworth Technical College. With 2 Plates and 
90 Diagrams. Crown 8 vo. With answers, is. 6<i. With- 
out answers, is. 3^. 

A carefully graduated course beginning with measure- 
ments and calculations based on them, and forming a 
sound introduction to the work of the Technical Schools. 
The course covers the Board of Education Syllabus of 
" Practical Mathematics and Practical Drawing " as 
given in the " Preliminary Course for Trade Students," 
also the work for the Lancashire and Cheshire and 
Midland Counties Union Preliminary Technical Certi- 
ficates. 

Rural Arithmetic with Household Accounts. 

By RUPERT DEAKIN, M.A., and C. J. HUMPHREYS, 
B.Sc, of the Central Secondary and Evening Continuation 
Schools, Birmingham. With many diagrams. Crown 
8vo. IS. 

A course of commercial arithmetic to meet the new 
schemes for the evening continuation schools. 

A Practical Course in First Year Physics. 

By E. T. BUCKNELL, F.C.S., Headmaster of Kings- 
holme School, Weston-super-Mare, and late Science 
Master at St. Philip's Grammar School and the P.T. 
Centre, Birmingham. With 85 Illustrations. Crown 
8vo. IS. 

This course is intended to provide a thorough ground- 
ing in the elements of physics. It covers the syllabus 
for the Leaving Certificate and Army Qualifying 
Examination. 



14 Mills & Boon's Catalogue 

MILLS & BOON'S 
SUMMER NOVELS. 

Margaret Rutland. 

By THOMAS COBB, Author of " The Anger of Olivia." 
Crown 8vo, 65. 

Nobody, in Margaret Rutland's case, seemed to 
remember that " still waters run deep." It did not 
occur to those who ought to have known her best, 
how delicately some perfectly natural longings were 
hidden behind the calm surface. She went her way : 
tranquil, charitable, unsatisfied, until fate met her in 
the person of Gilbert Hammett, who was by several 
years her junior. 

Gilbert, unfortunately, had known Prudence Farmar, 
as well as much trouble, before he crossed Margaret 
Rutland's path ; and though this was strewed with 
primroses in the beginning, there was a multitude of 
prophets to forecast its desolate end. 

But although this might not be such a brilliantly 
happy one as that of her friends Max Stainer and 
Christobel, it was by no means entirely miserable. If 
Margaret Rutland could have lived her life over again, 
it is certain she would not have chosen that Gilbert 
Hammett should have no part in it. 

The Honourable Derek. 

By R. A. WOOD-SEYS (Paul Cushing). Crown 8vo. 6s. 

" The Honourable Derek " is a novel of delight. The 
scene is laid in England and America, and concerns a 
witty young Englishman and a brilliant American 
woman. " The Honourable Derek " bears the hall 
mark of literary genius, and is a novel full of surprises, 
capturing the reader's curiosity from the first to the 
last page. 



Summer Novels, 1910 15 

Two Men and Gwenda. 

By MABEL BARNES-GRUNDY, Author of " Hilary on 
Her Own." Crown 8vo. 65. 

Mrs. Barnes-Grundy, who moved to laughter a large 
public with her '' Vacillations of Hazel," has again 
touched the humorous note in her new novel, " Two 
Men and Gwenda " ; but this time there is pathos as 
well. 

Gwenda, a clever, gay, but very feminine and human 
country girl, marries a Londoner, a thorough man of the 
world. She loves him, but her smart environment irks 
her. They gradually drift apart. How she eventually 
wins through to happiness we leave Mrs. Barnes-Grundy 
to relate. '' Granty," with her wise sayings and pink 
shawl with bobs, is an old lady we would much like to 
meet. 

Laughter and tears alternate throughout the book, 
but the final note is laughter. 

The Girl from his Town. 

By MARIE VAN VORST, Author of " First Love," 
" In Ambush." Crown 8vo. 6s. 

In this altogether charming and delightful love story 
Miss Van Vorst has taken the young man out of a 
Montana mining town and dropped him down uncere- 
moniously in the midst of London's smart set. There 
he sees and hears and meets Lotty Lane, the reigning 
comic opera success. It is she who is the Girl from 
his Town. A clever and dashing story that will add to 
Miss Van Vorst's already brilliant reputation. 

The Enemy of Woman. 

By WINIFRED GRAHAM. Author of " Mary." Crown ' 
8vo. 6s. 

To all lovers of fiction, a new novel by Winifred 
Graham is always welcome, and perhaps this, her last 
work, is more powerful than any which has preceded it. 



1 6 Mills & Boon's Catalogue 

Invariably she holds a theory of deeply seeking into 
character, while exposing modern evils. The raison 
d'etre of ** The Enemy of Woman " is to portray what 
disastrous consequences are engendered by a mad 
desire for Woman's Suffrage, and the bad effects on 
home life of unbalancing feminine minds. The opening 
chapters are startlingly dramatic, with an admixture of 
tears and laughter, creating an intensely human interest. 
Various types of women, in this engrossing story, show 
what different forces of evil dog the footsteps of those 
who always crave to know the '* reason why " of all 
restraint, and talk much nonsense about Women's 
Rights. The plot reveals how well-educated, and 
otherwise blameless, women may be led even to crime 
by this obsession. Winifred Graham is, above all, an 
idealist. Her book reveals the pain, horror, and aver- 
sion she cannot conceal, of womanhood being lowered 
and dragged through the mud by the Shrieking Sister- 
hood. She considers women ought to be on the side of 
the angels, not constantly straining after strife, and 
she never uses a worn-out model. 

A fine NoVel. 

Rebecca Drew. 

By EDITH DART. Crown 8vo. 65. 

" Rebecca Drew " is a quiet, emotional tale, dealing 
with the lives and characters of country folk, with the 
exception of the Stranger. The story is filled with the 
atmosphere and feeling of the West country, where the 
scene is laid. The chief personages are Rebecca Drew 
and the man who suddenly appears in her life, and 
henceforward moulds it more or less unwillingly and 
unconsciously. They make a striking study in contrast : 
Rebecca, the strong, self-reliant woman, who has depths 
unplumbed, unguessed tenderness and passion beneath 
the surface, and the Stranger, an erratic, charming, 
gifted creature, " all things by turn and nothing long." 
How their lives meet, touch, part, and act upon one 
another is the theme of the novel. To the discerning 



Summer Novels, 1910 17 

reader the end is only apparent failure, since by suffering 
has CQme, to one at least of the pair, self-knowledge and 
life in the deepest sense. 

The Glen. 

By MARY STUART BOYD, Author of " Her Besetting 
Virtue," " The Man in the Wood." Crown 8vo. 6s. 

The scene of this present-day novel is laid chiefly 
in a West Highland valley, into whose remote placidity 
drift distracting elements in the form of a group of 
London society people, and a Norwegian sailor whose 
disabled schooner is washed into the bay in a gale. 

The plot shows deft handling of strongly contrasted 
lives. The romantic fancy of Nannie for the phil- 
andering Englishman reveals girlish devotion to an 
imaginary ideal. The reluctant wooing of the caustic- 
tongued Elspie by her phlegmatic but persistent suitor 
is full of amusing situations and pithy dialogue, while 
the romance of Rachel Rothe and the Man from the 
Sea strikes the deep note of tragic passion. 

The male characters are widely diverse. The plausible 
gentleman of leisure, the brilliant Highland student 
with his dogged determination to win Civil Service 
honours, the greatly daring but simple and manly 
young Norwegian skipper, though true to life, are poles 
asunder. 

The novel opens and closes in the glen with its sentinel 
mountains and wave-beat shore. The intervening 
scenes take place in London and on board the Nor- 
wegian schooner the Skaal. Apart from its strong 
romantic interest, the novel is full of humorous char- 
acterisation. 

A brilliant first NoVel. 

Jehanne of the Golden Lips. 

By FRANCES G. KNOWLES-FOSTER. Illustrated 
in colour. Crown 8vo. 6s. 

This fascinating love story of Queen Jehanne of 
Naples has a double interest. In it accurate history 



1 8 Mills d: Boon's Catalogue 

and thrilling romance are deftly welded together so 
as to give us a splendidly human picture of Jehanne of 
Anjou, the wonderful Mary Stuart of the South, her 
heroism, her waywardness, her genius for dominion in 
her relations with every one, and of her courtiers, her 
enemies, and her one true love. Prince Louis of Taranto, 
whose wooing of her is more passionate and daring than 
Romeo's of Juliet. Their struggles between love and 
honour before the murder of Jehanne's first husband, 
Andrea of Hungary, make enthralling reading. The 
author has caught the very spirit of fierce, luxurious, 
intriguing Naples of 1345, by culling direct from the 
Neapolitan archives the vivid details of such chronicles 
as that of Tristan Caracciolo, the noble scholar who 
heard the living Golden Lips charm all ears, and has 
dared to give an unvarnished account of the reckless 
gorgeous age, while remaining equally faithful to the 
historical facts. This is a feat which no other novelist 
on the subject has yet accomplished. There is also 
given a new and absorbingly interesting theory as to 
the Queen's share in her encumbering husband's murder, 
the tale of which is told in almost haunting fashion. 
Boccaccio's pleasant relations with the Queen, the 
audacious, almost successful plot of the Red Count of 
Savoy to carry her off, the rush of the Hungarian 
forces upon Naples, and the magnificent victory of 
Queen Jehanne and Prince Louis in the end, are only 
a few of the salient points to be mentioned at hazard 
in a book of which every page contains some exciting 
incident. 



The Sins of the Children. 

By HORACE W. C. NEWTE, Author of " Calico Jack," 
" Sparrows." Crown 8vo. 65. 

In this remarkable novel Mr. Newte has deserted the 
byways of London life, and has gone to the world-old 
subject of fiUal ingratitude. It may be objected that 
the last word has been said on such a theme in ." King 



Summer Novels, 1910 19 

Lear " and " Pere Goriot," but while these acknow- 
ledged masterpieces respectively deal with Kings and 
Princesses, and the denizens of smart life in the Paris 
of the Restoration, " The Sins of the Children," in 
depicting ordinary, everyday folk, should make a con- 
vincing appeal to the many who are moved by that 
considerable portion of the ironic procession in which 
average humanity lives, moves, and has its being. 
" The Sins of the Children " is in two parts ; the first 
deals with the youth and girlhood of a charming daugh- 
ter of the suburbs ; of her single-hearted, devoted 
father ; of her selfish absorption in lover and husband, 
and of the unhappy consequences of her neglect of one 
she should have loved and cherished. The second 
part deals with the motherhood of the heroine, and of 
her experiences with a selfish son, who, in oehaving to 
her as she did to her father, causes her to realise her 
own ingratitude, which gives rise to poignant and un- 
availing remorse. A romantic love story runs through 
the work, which also contains a variety of quaint char- 
acter studies. As " The Sins of the Children " will 
doubtless be read by every child and parent, it should 
make the widest of appeals 

Written in the Rain. 

By JOHN TREVENA, Author of " Granite." Crown 
8vo. 6s. 

" Written in the Rain " is a volume of stories by this 
popular author. As they have all been written in that 
part of the country where it raineth every day, the title 
is not wholly inappropriate. There will be, in defiance 
of superstition, thirteen items : a problem story, an 
impossible story, two poignant reminiscences, two 
studies of different types of broken-down gentlemen, 
two tales of the imagination, a short comedy entitled 
" A Comet for Sale," three light Devonshire stories 
(Dartmoor), and a descriptive sketch, entitled " Matri- 
mony," of a wedding at Widdicombe in the early ages. 



20 Mills 6t Booties Catalogue 

An Original LoVe Storp, 

The Valley of Achor. 

By MRS. PHILIP CHAMPION DE CRESPIGNY, 
Author of " The Coming of Aurora." Crown 8vo. 65. 

" The Valley of Achor — or trouble — for a door of 
hope," is the quotation from Hosea from which this book 
takes its title. It is a story of modern days, so modern 
that recent events have prompted the main idea of the 
plot. Nigel Pitcairn returns from a voyage of explora- 
tion, and after an enthusiastic reception, is discredited, 
not only by the world at large, but by the woman he 
loves, and for whose sake moreover the dangers and 
hardships of his travels were undergone. As his creed 
has always been that man is master of his fate, he knows 
all will come right in the end, and only for one brief 
moment loses heart. 

How his good faith is finally proved, and his claims 
acknowledged, remains a mystery until nearly the end 
of the book. The characters of the two principal women 
are widely different, Portia Quinton, coldly logical, 
ambitious and self-centred, while Nancy Devenant is 
quite the reverse — slightly inconsequent, but with a 
heart of gold ; her brother Howard, a learned professor 
and Pitcairn's rival for Portia's favour, finally clears 
the latter's name in rather a curious manner. An 
enthusiastic golfer and his wife, among the minor 
characters, supply the lighter touches to the story. 

The Pilgrimage of a Fool. 

By J. E. BUCKROSE, Author of " A Golden Straw," 
etc. Crown 8vo. 65. 

Readers of " A Golden Straw " may recollect how 
superstition played a notable part in that fine story. 
In a measure perhaps they will again be reminded of 
that work in " The Pilgrimage of a Fool," which is 
the simple history of a commonplace soul. In it the 
secret longing of nearly every man's and woman's soul 
for ** something more " becomes to a certain extent 
articulate. The hero's love story is interesting and 



Summer Novels, 1910 21 

sincere, while human pathos and folly jostle good 
thoughts in the book as they do in real life. The 
whole thing is curiously human even in its imperfections. 
Mills & Boon heartily recommend " The Pilgrimage 
of a Fool " as a novel that will please even the most 
critical reader, for its author has wit and humour and 
a knowledge of human nature which is not surpassed 
by any living novelist. 

The Island of Souls. A Sensational Fairy Tale. 

By M. URQUHART, Author of "A Fool of Faery." 
Crown 8vo. 6s. 

Blue-Grey Magic. 

By SOPHIE COLE, Author of " A Wardour Street 
Idyll." Crown 8vo. 6s. 

" Blue-Grey Magic " takes its name from some 
mysterious letters written on blue-grey paper to Hester 
Adean, whose sweet and gentle personality attracts 
" The Doctor," a strong, whimsical man, devoid of 
sentiment, and Stella Chase, an advanced modern girl 
of the extreme type. The situation between these 
persons and the story of Hester's development is told 
in that original way which readers of Miss Cole's novels 
naturally expect from her. The secret of the letters is 
well kept until the dramatic climax is reached. *' Blue- 
Grey Magic " is a touching and human love story with 
a happy ending. It is certain to please the large circle 
of readers who found " Arrows from the Dark " and 
" A Wardour Street Idyll " so delightful. 

The Palace of Logs. 

By ROBERT BARR, Author of " Cardillac " and 
" The Sword Maker." Crown 8vo. 6s. 

Body and Soul. 

By LADY TROUBRIDGE, Author of " The Woman 
who Forgot," " The Cheat," etc. Crown 8vo. 6s. 

** Body and Soul " is a new long novel by Lady 
Troubridge, whose popularity is rapidly increasing. This 
is not surprising when it is remembered that Lady 



2 2 Mills & Boon's Catalogue 

Troubridge writes with such easy grace and never fails to 
give her readers a story of fascinating interest. 

813. 

By MAURICE LEBLANC, Author of " Arsene Lupin." 
Translated by ALEXANDER TEIXEIRA DE MATTOS. 
Crown 8vo. 6s. 

An entirely new " Arsene Lupin " adventure of 
absorbing interest, with never a dull page. 

Sport of Gods. 

By H. VAUGHAN-SAWYER. Crown 8vo. 6s. 
A powerful Indian novel of modern life. 

With Poison and Sword 

By W. M. O'KANE. Crown 8vo. 6s. 
A dashing Irish romance. 

The Vanishing Smuggler. 

By STEPHEN CHALMERS. Crown Svo. 6s. 
This is a fascinating tale of old smuggling days on the 
Scottish coast. Smuggle-erie and his reckless band, 
the old Coastguard, with his memories of Trafalgar 
and Nelson, dainty Grisel and the quaint village folk 
of Morag, are portrayed with a warmth of reality that 
is rare in fiction. 



SHILLING NET NOVELS. 

Sparrows, the Story of an 

Unprotected Girl. Horace W. C. Newte. 

The Adventures of Captain 

Jack. Max Pemberton. 

The Prodigal Father. J. Storer Clouston. 

D'Arcy of the Guards. L. E. Shipman. 

The novel of the Play at the St. James's Theatre. 



General Literature 23 

BOOKS PREVIOUSLY PUBLISHED 

GENERAL LITERATURE 
The Court of William IIL 

By EDWIN and MARION SHARPE GREW. With 
many Illustrations. Demy 8vo. 155. net. 
Times. — " The authors have steered most dexterously between 
the solidity of history and the irresponsibility of Court bio- 
graphy. Their book consists of a number of character studies 
done with care and distinction ; it is a welcome change from 
the mass of literature whose only function is to revive the 
gossip and scandal centred round a throne. It is a series of 
portraits of the men and women whose lives were spent in 
making history." 

Morning Post. — " Done with fairness and thoroughness. . . . 
The book has many conspicuous merits." 

Rambles with an American. 

By CHRISTIAN TEARLE. Author of " Holborn Hill." 
Fully illustrated. los. 6d. net. 
Spectator. — "The idea of the book is good, and it is well 
carried out, and a reader, if he is of the right sort, will be greatly 
charmed with it." 

Morning Post. — "Delightful." 

Daily Chronicle. — "A happy idea. Originally conceived, 
well written, and entirely readable." 

My Thirty Years in India. 

By Sir EDMUND C. COX, Bart., Deputy Inspector- 
General of Police, Bombay Presidency. With 6 Illustra- 
tions. Demy 8vo. 8s. net. 

An Art Student's Reminiscences 
of Paris in the Eighties. 

By SHIRLEY FOX, R.B.A. With illustrations by John 
Cameron, Demy Svo. los. 6d. net. 



Sporting Stories. 



By THORMANBY. Fully illustrated. Demy Svo. 
los. 6d. net. 
Daily Express. — " Contains the best collection of anecdotes 
of this generation. It is a perfect mine of good things." 
Sporting Life. — " This vast storehouse of good stories." 



24 Mills 6t Boon's Catalogue 

British Mountain Climbs. 

By GEORGE D. ABRAHAM. Author of " The Com- 
plete Mountaineer," Member of the Climbers' Club, etc., 
etc. Illustrated with Photographs and Diagrams. 
Pocket size. Waterproof cloth. 75. 6d. net. (See also 
p. 6.) 

Nature. — " Is sure to become a favourite among moun- 
taineers." 

Sportsman. — " Eminently a practical manual." 

A Manual for Nurses. 

By SYDNEY WELHAM, M.R.C.S. (Resident Medical 
Officer, Charing Cross Hospital). With Diagrams. 
Crown 8vo. 3s. 6d. net. 

In this work the aim of the author is to present a 
volume useful to all grades of Nurses, the various sub- 
jects being treated in a lucid and practical manner. 
Nursing, the first subject dealt with, is a section in 
itself ; the other subjects necessary for a Nurse to study 
during her training are dealt with seriatim — Anatomy 
and Physiology, in concise yet thorough chapters, con- 
taining all essential points without unnecessary and 
confusing details. 

The Romance of the Oxford Colleges. 

By FRANCIS GRIBBLE. With a Photogravure and 
16 full-page Illustrations. Crown 8vo. 6s. 
Westminster Gazette. — " Does not contain a dull page." 
World. — "Very agreeable and entertaining." 
Daily Chronicle. — "Marvellously well-informed." 

The Bolster Book. A Book for the Bedside. 

By HARRY GRAHAM, Author of " Deportmental 

Ditties." With an illustrated cover by Lewis Baumer. 

Second Edition. Crown 8vo. 65. 

Daily Chronicle. — "Humorists are our benefactors, and 

Captain Graham being not only a humorist, but an inventor 

of humour, is dearer to me than that * sweet Tuxedo girl,' of 

a famous song, who, ' though fond of fun,' is ' never rude.' 

I boldly assume that Biffin, like ' the Poet Budge ' and Hosea 

Biglow, is a ventriloquist's doll — a doll more amusing than 

any figure likely to appear in the dreams of such dull persons 

as could be put to sleep by articulate laughter." 



General Literature 25 

Letters of a Modern Golfer to 
his Grandfather. 

Being the correspondence of Richard AUingham, Esq., 
arranged by HENRY LEACH. Crown 8vo. 6s. 
Ontlooh. — "There are many people who lack the energy to 
apply themselves to the study of a technical manual on any 
science or pastime, but who will readily absorb the requisite 
information when it is served up in the guise of fiction. A 
book in which the human interest is as marked as the practical 
instruction. Young Richard AUingham is something of a 
philosopher as well as being an independent theorist of the 
game of games. He also makes a nice lover. Hence we have 
in this volume all the factors which give charm to the life of 
the links. The volume will be an acquisition to the golfer's 
library." 

Auction Bridge. 

By ARCHIBALD DUNN. Containing the Revised Rules 

of the game. Handsomely bound in cloth and forming a 

companion volume to " Club Bridge." Crown 8vo. 55. net. 

Sportsman. — " A study of this manual will profit them in 

knowledge and in pocket." 

Club Bridge. 

By ARCHIBALD DUNN, Author of " Bridge and How 

to Play it." Crown 8vo, $s. net. 
Evening Standard. — " This is, in fact, ' the book.' " 
Manchester Guardian. — " A masterly and exhaustive treatise." 

The Children's Story of Westminster Abbey. 

By Miss G. E. TROUTBECK, Author of " Westminster 
Abbey" (Little Guides). With 4 Photogravure Plates, 
and 21 Illustrations from Photographs. Crown Svo. 
5s. net. (See p. 8.) 

The Children's Story of the Bee. 

By S. L. BENSUSAN, Author of " Wild Life Stories." 
Illustrated by C. Moore Park. Crown 8vo. 55. net. 

Deportmental Ditties. 

By HARRY GRAHAM, Author of " Ruthless Rhymes 
for Heartless Homes," etc. Illustrated by Lewis Baumer. 
Second Edition. Crown 4to. 3s. 6d. net. 

Times. — " Clever, humorous verse." 

Daily Graphic. — "Mr. Graham certainly has the knack." 



2 6 Mills 6: Boon*s Catalogue 

Through the Loopholes of Retreat. 

By HANSARD WATT. With a portrait of Cowper in 
photogravure. Crown 8vo. 35. 6d. net. 

Kings and Queens of France. 

A Concise History of France. 

By MILDRED CARNEGY. With a Preface by the 
Bishop of Hereford. With a Map and 4 full-page 
Illustrations. Crown 8vo. 35. 6d. 

Pure Folly : The Story of those Re- 
markable People The Follies. 

Told by FITZROY GARDNER. With a new song by 
H. G. Pelissier. Illustrated by Geoffrey Holme, 
Norman Morrow, Arthur Wimperis, John Bull, etc. 
Crown 4to. 2s. 6d. net. 

Popular Edition. Thirteenth Thousand 
The New Theology. 

By the Rev. R. J. CAMPBELL. Fully revised and with 
a new Preface. With a full account of the Progressive 
League, including the speeches of Hall Caine and Bernard 
Shaw. Crown 8vo. is. net. 

Votes for Women. A Play in Three Acts. 

By ELIZABETH ROBINS. Crown Svo. is. 



MILLS & BOON'S 
COMPANION SERIES 

The Chauffeur's Companion. (Second Edition) 

By " A FOUR-INCH DRIVER." With 4 Plates and 
5 Diagrams. Waterproof cloth. Crown Svo. 2S. net. 
Country Life. — " Written in simple language, but reveals in 
almost every line that the author is a master of his subject." 

The Gardener's Companion. 

By SELINA RANDOLPH. With an Introduction by 
Lady Alwyne Compton. Crown Svo. 25. net. 
Daily Mail. — "The author has had many years' experience 
of the round of duties in one of the most charming gardens in 
Kent ; but in this book she studiously puts herself in the place 
of the beginner, and her crowded chapters are well designed 
to help one who is starting in garden-making." 



Companion Series 27 

The Six- Handicap Golfer's Companion. 

By " TWO OF HIS KIND." With chapters by H. S. 
Colt on Golf generally and Harold H. Hilton on 
Scientific Wooden Club Play. Fully illustrated (from 
photographs of Jack White and others). Crown 8vo. 
25. 6d. net. 
Golf Illustrated. — " The Author's aim is to teach inferior players 
how to reduce their handicaps to at least six. There is a great 
deal of sound advice in the book, and its value is greatly in- 
creased by two excellent chapters by Mr. H. H. Hilton and Mr. 
H. S. Colt." ♦ 

The Mother's Companion. 

By Mrs. M. A. CLOUDESLEY-BRERETON (Officier 
d'Academie). With an Introduction by Sir Lauder 
Brunton, M.D., F.R.C.P.,F.R.S. Crown 8vo. 2s.6d.net. 

The Rifleman's Companion. 

By L. R. TIPPINS. With 6 Illustrations. Crown 8vo. 
2s. 6d. net. 

The author is well known as a skilled " Inter- 
national " shot, who has very exceptional facilities for 
experimental work. His knowledge of applied science, 
joined to long experience of rifle-making, has placed 
him in the front rank of rifle experts. 

The new book is practical, while not neglecting 
such knowledge of theory as is essential for useful 
practice, and shows the rifleman how to get the 
best work out of his weapon. 

The Poultry Keeper's Companion. 

By ARTHUR TYSILIO JOHNSON. With 60 Illus- 
trations. Crown 8vo. 2s. 6d. net. 

The aim of the author has been to cater for the 
amateur, small-holder and farmer. All the systems 
of utility poultry-farming are discussed : Incubation 
and Rearing, Egg Production, Laying Strains, Table 
Poultry, Markets and Marketing are exhaustively dealt 
with, and there is a description of the most useful 
breeds of poultry. Diseases are described with the 
treatment in each case. A part of the book is devoted 
to Duck Farming. 



MILLS & BOON'S 



FICTION LIST 



Crown 8vo, 6s. each. 



2nd Edition 
^th Edition 
T^rd Edition 
2nd Edition 



^th Edition 
2 }id Edition 



Orpheus in Mayfair . 

Cardiihc 

The Sword Maker . 

A Golden Straw 

Render unto Caesar . 

The Bill-Toppers 

The Prodigal Father. 

The Anger of Olivia . 

Mr. Burnside's Responsibility 

A Wardour Street Idyll . 

Arrows from the Dark 

Fame . . . 3^^ Edition 

The Education of Jacqueline 

^rd Edition 
Elisabeth Davenay . 3^^ Edition 
My Lady Wentworth 
Mary . . . 4th Edition 
The End and the Beginning 3s. 6d. . 
Brummell Again .... 
Margot Munro .... 

No. 19 . . . 2nd Edition 

28 



Maurice Baring. 
Robert Barr. 
Robert Barr. 
J. E. Buckrose. 
Mrs. Vere Campbell. 
Andre Castaigne. 
J. Storer Clouston. 
Thomas Cobb. 
Thomas Cobb. 
Sophie Cole. 
Sophie Cole. 
B. M. Croker. 

Claire de Pratz. 
Claire de Pratz. 
Allan Fea. 
Winifred Graham. 
Cosmo Hamilton. 
Cosmo Hamilton. 
M. E. Hughes. 
Edgar Jepson. 



MILLS & BOON'S FICTION LIST -continued. 



Bound Together . 2nd Edition 
The Last Lord Avanley 

Mary up at Gaffries . Ath Edition 

Calico Jack . . z^d Edition 
Draw in Your Stool 

Harm's Way 

The Stairway of Honour 2nd Edition 

Miss Pilsbury's Fortune 

When Love Knocks . 

The Veil . . 1th Edition 

HolbornHill . 

The Woman who Forgot 

The First Law . 2nd Edition 

The Cheat 

The Fool of Faery . 

Royal Lovers . 

First Love 

The King's Highway 

The Captain's Daughter 

Tess of Ithaca 

An Averted Marriage 2nd Edition 

Memoirs of a Buccaneer . 

The Rajah's People . 6M Edition 

A Blot on the Scutcheon 2 fid Edition 

For Church and Chieftain . 



Mary E. Mann. 

Gerald Maxwell. 

S. C. Nethersole. 

Horace W. C. Newte. 

Oliver Onions. 

Lloyd Osbourne. 

Maud Stepney Raw- 
son. 

Christine R. Shand. 

Gilbert Stanhope. 

E. S. Stevens. 

Christian Tearle. 

Lady Troubridge. 

Lady Troubridge. 

Lady Troubridge. 

M. Urquhart. 

Helene Vacaresco. 

Marie van Vorst. 

H. B. Marriott Wat- 
son 

Helen H. Watson. 

Grace Miller White. 

Percy White. 

Robert Williams. 

I. A. R. Wylie. 

May Wynne. 

May Wynne. 



MILLS & BOON'S 

THRILLING ADVENTURE LIBRARY 



Crown 8vo. 6s. each. 
The Lady Calphurnia Royat 

By Force of Circumstances 

Arsene Lupin 

The Kingdom of Earth 2?id Edition 
The Adventures of Captain Jack 

■T^rd Edition 



Albert Dorrington and 
A. G. Stevens. 

Gordon Holmes. 

Edgar Jepson and 
Maurice Leblanc. 

Anthony Partridge. 

Max Pemberton. 



MILLS & BOON'S 

SHILLING NET LIBRARY 



The Veil 

Peter Pan : His Book, His Pictures, 

His Career, His Friends . 
Mary ... ... 

The End and the Beginning 

Arsene Lupin. The Novel of the Play 

Cumner's Son. Etitirely New. Cloth 
Beware of the Dog. Entirely New . 
The Dollar Princess. IVie Novel of 
the Play . 

For Church and Chieftain 
Wee Macgreegor 
Proofs Before Pulping 
Thomas Henry 
Tales of King Fido . 
The Diary of a Baby 



E. S. Stevens. 

G. D. Drennan. 
Winifred Graham. 
Cosmo Hamilton. 
Edgar Jepson and 

Maurice Leblanc. 
Sir Gilbert Parker. 
Mrs. Baillie Reynolds. 

Harold Simpson. 
May Wynne. 

JJ.B. 
Barry Pain. 
W. Pett Ridge. 
J. Storer Clouston. 
Barry Pain. 



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